More and more businesses are starting to realize the perks of creating a great culture for their employees. After all, your personnel spend the majority of their time in the office, and it’s crucial that they feel comfortable, ambitious and happy while they’re there.
However, it’s not that easy for temporary workers. Working irregular hours or alongside permanent employees can make it challenging for them to feel like an integral part of your business and culture. Plus, those who are unsure about the role they play in the organization (or feel that they aren’t fully accepted by their coworkers) are likely to lack enthusiasm or feel deflated.
Beyond feeling demotivated, temporary workers who don’t feel like they belong might apply to other companies. By not integrating temp employees into your company’s culture, you’re not saving money or time; you’re perpetuating a revolving door and losing consistency and productivity.
So how can you ensure that your temporary employees feel at home when starting a task or project? Start with these eight suggestions:
1. Involve Your Full-Time Employees
Your regular staff is crucial to creating a comfortable environment for seasonal and temporary employees. Before temps arrive in your office, talk to your existing employees about them and the requirements for their task or project. Sometimes, full-time staffers feel threatened by temporary workers, so inform them that the temps are there to streamline the workload, not to replace others. This should motivate your permanent staff to connect with their temp coworkers organically, which will help the latter integrate more seamlessly into your company’s landscape.
2. Lead by Example
When permanent workers see high-level executives treating temp workers with respect, they’ll be inclined to act in a similar fashion. Welcome temp employees to be a part of team meetings, give them a company email address, and make them go through the same onboarding as your everyday personnel.
3. Set Your Temps up for Success
Make sure your temp workers have an office setting that’s equal to that of other workers. If your main employees have access to a coat rack, arrange a rack for your temp workers as well. If you provide ergonomic chairs for your full-time force, they should be made available to your temps, too. Equipping your temps with less than others is a sure way to make them feel isolated and unvalued from the start.
4. Discuss Their Chances of Progression
If there are no opportunities for temp employees to progress in your organization, they have no reason to display initiative. Soon they’ll start thinking that they might as well just do the minimum they need to get by. By giving your part-time personnel ample chances to progress (such as the opportunity to secure a full-time role based on their performance), you can help them integrate into your culture and remain engaged and productive with their assignments.
5. Set Up a Mentor Program
Assign seasoned employees to make temps feel welcome on the job. Charge them with training the new employees on specific procedures and aspects of company culture. This will not only help new employees feel connected to the team, but it will also engage your regular staff in looking out for their fellow team members and building company morale.
6. Keep Tabs on Social Media
When temp employees are dissatisfied with the way they’re treated, they often take to platforms like Twitter and Glassdoor to share their grievances. Go through feedback and reviews in search of common themes. Specific themes can help you get an idea of the issues temp workers face when it comes to cultural integration. Typical complaints include the unwillingness of permanent employees to welcome temp personnel, limited opportunities for progression, and a workplace setting that’s different from what’s available to full-time workers.
7. Schedule Catch-Up Sessions
When possible, try to get both permanent and temp employees together for catch-up sessions where you share the organization’s progress and give everyone an opportunity to give feedback and make suggestions. Being transparent about your goals and performance with temp workers has the added advantage of helping them see where they fit into your company, giving them a sense of worth and pride.
8. Keep Gossip and Bullying at Bay
Regardless of your approach to integrating temp workers into your culture, you may still witness scenarios where permanent employees bully or belittle the temp personnel on your team. In situations like these, make sure that you address the problem emphatically and quickly by correcting the out-of-bounds behavior.
Proactively talk with permanent employees about the consequences and negative impact of gossip and bullying. You should also designate safe procedures for people to report these behaviors and be prepared with proactive ways to address them.
As different as all humans are, everyone wants to feel needed and wanted. You’ll end up with a far happier and more productive work environment if you can set up ways to make every employee feel valued—including your temporary workers.