Managing a workforce is challenging under any circumstances. Temp workers provide a special challenge.
Temps add a lot of value, allowing more flexibility and helping to keep costs under control. However, they can exist outside the normal rhythms of hiring and onboarding. Added turnover, uncertain schedules and nonstandard training procedures can make it difficult to integrate temps into the day-to-day flow of business.
But while managing a temporary workforce takes some special care, there are steps you can take to maximize their contributions and improve your overall team dynamic in the process. Follow these five tips to better manage your temps.
Don’t Treat Temps Differently
Everyone likes to feel like they belong and everyone likes to feel like their work means something. Make sure temps are getting that feeling.
Don’t call them “the temp” or “what’s her name.” Don’t default to giving them the worst jobs. Little things like making sure they know about the office birthday party in the break room can make them feel like part of the team. A sense of welcome and appreciation will go a long way to improving production and ensuring the best workers come back for future assignments.
There can be a reluctance to train (or even talk to) temporary employees beyond the bare minimum. You assume they will be gone relatively soon, so there’s no point in investing too much time or effort. This can lead to a situation where the temp doesn’t get adequately trained at all.
Make sure to give consistent and constructive feedback. It will improve the quality of work and will encourage a feeling of belonging in the temporary employee.
Provide Proper Equipment
Temps often get stuck with the outmoded equipment. The worn-out tools, chairs with the broken swivels and the computer monitors from 1998.
Not only does this mess with the temp’s morale, it saps production. They won’t be able to get as much done on outmoded or fading equipment. Make sure each temp has what they need to perform the duties you expect from them.
People are more productive when they know what to do and what’s expected from them. Changes in schedule and random (from their point of view) switches in job assignments can sap a temp’s morale. Part of the appeal of a temporary employee is being able to slot them in where they are most needed, but having a definite plan and communicating it clearly can go a long way to boosting output.
A good manager gets people to work beyond expectations. This is difficult for a temp. There are fewer long-term carrots you can offer compared to a full-time employee, who is looking forward to raises, promotions and other benefits down the road.
Your options may be limited, but it’s important to provide incentives for temps, as well. The ultimate prize for any temp will likely be a permanent position. If this is a possibility, make it clear they could be working for a future direct hire. Even in the absence of this, you can make sure to reward your favorite temps with additional hours and assignments. This will get them to work harder and put you in competition for the best talent.
Need help hiring great employees?
Of course, the ultimate key to management is having great employees. Highly skilled and professional temporary workers make oversight a breeze and lead to improved outcomes for your business. Industry leader Qualified Staffing can help bring in the best options to supplement your team. Contact us today to find out more.