Categorized | Featured, HR Strategies

5 Ways to Engage Temp Workers

Whether you manage people in an industrial environment, work with IT contractors or with administrative personell, there are ways to engage with temporary staff that can make their time with you more successful.  Here are 5 ways to engage these workers so that they are more productive whether their assignment is measured in hours, days, or months.

1.)  Share Goals

Even if someone is only working on a project, tell them about the larger goals of the company and how their assignment fits in.  People tend to be more productive when they know the big picture.  Simply talking about what you’re trying to do as a department or company can help a temporary employee or contractor understand where they fit into that bigger picture and work toward that goal with you.

2.)  Learn About Their Goals

A lot of managers miss out on opportunities to discover motivation points by not having these conversations.  While we tend to learn about co-workers and employees over time and discover their motivations through casual conversations, temporary staff can be ignored in this regard.  By taking the time to find out these personal motivations you’ll gain valuable insight into strengths and weaknesses of that person and what they want out of an assignment.

3.)  Include Them in Social Activities

There is always a social aspect to work that can range from cake in the break room to drinks after work to weekend events.  Building a bond between temporary and full-time employees is something that should be embraced rather than avoided.  Creating those relationships can help motivate people and increase productivity for the entire staff.

4.)  Prep Full Time Employees

Temp staff, contractors, and consultants can be intimidating to full time staff.  You may not even be aware, but a temporary worker could be an inadvertent signal of big changes at the company and a threat to someone’s full time job.  It’s important to head off that with a conversation or series of conversations about how a temporary worker is going to help everyone reach their goals.  It’s also a good time to encourage a welcoming and friendly attitude toward the new person.  Eliminating rumors and hidden agendas will go along way into smoothing over friction between temporary workers and their full time compatriots.

5.)  Outline Opportunities

If there are opportunities for work advancement or other assignments, outline those early on.  This is a huge motivating factor beyond pay.  One of the problems with temporary work is that it can be difficult for both workers and employers to see beyond the assignment.  Talking about other opportunities lets everyone think beyond the project in front of them today.  Of course, don’t make it a distraction, but a discussion about further opportunities, if they exist, can help motivate beyond the assignment.

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Cindy Thomas

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