It’s long been understood that we get the best out of our staff when they feel happy and safe at work.
This culture-driven approach to performance and retention has taken off, with businesses investing heavily in, and even winning awards for, the way they treat their staff.
We’ve spoken a lot on the Sidekicker blog about how to create an inclusive culture for temps as we found that the nature of temporary employment often means the happiness of temp staff often falls to the wayside. We even championed ANZ’s biggest temp worker survey ever geared towards helping businesses better understand their temp workforce to help them realise the true benefits of a temporary staff workforce.
However, we understand that temps also have a responsibility to embrace your culture with the same passion that you commit to creating a culture where they feel safe.
So, we have put together these 6 foolproof strategies, based on data from our internal HQ temp workers, our clients, our Sidekicks and our staffing experts to get your temps embracing your workplace culture in no time!
1) Create an easy to digest communications plan of your Vision, Values, and Standards
Behind every successful company is a solid and inspiring vision for the future, coupled with employees who are actively working towards making that vision a reality. While a temp worker is only with you for a short period of time, that does not mean they do not want to engage in meaningful work.
82% of our Sidekick workforce stated that the #1 reason they use Sidekicker is because they are able to lead a more meaningful life by having the ability to choose when and where they work. Identity and purpose are very important to them.
By communicating your company vision with your temp workers, you’ll be helping them form an identity with your business which will result in higher productivity as they realise their contribution is part of a bigger, more meaningful picture.
As your temp workers are only with you for a short period of time, we understand that your usual value / vision onboarding session for full-timers may not realise a return on the time invested. What we have seen our clients do really well, is create a mini-onboarding video or PDF that they send to the Sidekicks they hire via Sidekicker for them to watch before they come to work. In fact, in a survey, 80% of participants thought a video would have a positive impact on “making the onboarding process of new employees smoother”.
So, aim to have a video that inspires, educates, and empowers your new temps to be productive and innovative.
To know how NOT to onboard your temps, check out the disaster below ↓
Note: This video isn’t even based on onboarding a temp worker, so imagine– in reality, even lesser effort is put into onboarding temps.
2) Hire and screen temps to ensure they’re a good fit
One of the first steps that you have utmost control over is when you’re screening and hiring your temps!
Choosing applicants that already showcase values and traits that fit perfectly with your company culture and people, will reduce chances of friction later on. By being selective during your hiring process, you can ensure that the temps you’re hiring will be completely in sync during their short time with you.
Matthew Harradine, Director at Totaljobs says…
So, let’s start right at the beginning with…the job description.
Our Sidekick survey showed that Sidekicks felt having ‘more complete job descriptions’ would make their flexible work experience easier. Even though a temp worker is with you for a short time, they still need to know what their job role would involve- your expectations, goals, and values as a company.
In fact, expectations are important.
You need to be upfront in your job description about what you want them to accomplish during their time with you. That way, applicants know what to expect from the job, workplace, and experience, and only people truly ready and qualified to do the job will apply.
To write a good job description for your future-temps, we recommend following these 3 steps:
1. Write up what their role will entail. Be task-specific.
2. Note the type of person you’re looking for- The personality, values, and goals that reflect your company values
3. Include information on their start and finish date, working hours, pay, potential overtime
Pro tip: Putting in a line or two about what they will take away after their experience with your company helps get the best ones onboard!
But wait…it doesn’t end just there.
If you’re planning on conducting an interview for the more skilled roles, that’s your chance to really get to know whether the applicant will be the perfect fit for you. Including personality and opinion-based questions is a great way of gauging a good culture-fit.
Being absolutely clear on who you want your temps to be, and communicating that before you get them onboard, is a winning strategy to hire the best, giving them the best work experience, and you the best work results.
3) Promote inclusivity and values in the environment
Your temps add value to your business in the short timespan that they are with you. But, too often they are made to feel less important than full-time employees.
In fact, being a flexible worker means constantly being the “new guy” or the “new gal”. These workers go from being value-adders in previous roles to being the new person in the office so often. As an employer managing a blended workforce, you can make this transition easier by making them comfortable in their surroundings.
Do you want to know the secret to getting temps embracing your workplace culture?
It’s by immersing them in it right from their first day at work. When a temp walks into an inclusive and positive work environment, not only does he or she feel right at home, but it also motivates them to be productive and go beyond their job responsibilities. A BIG win for you!
Showcase those top company values and pay attention to the little things- show them around the office, where the tea, coffee and bathrooms can be found, and introduce them to your team members. In fact, by letting your team and department know beforehand that your temp will be joining the team, it gives your own workforce time to adjust to and prepare for their arrival.
Providing your temps with the best workplace culture and experience can have so many pluses for you. It can push your temps to be themselves, innovate, and go above and beyond what’s required of them. At the end of their job, positive WOM can boost your company rep.
A few things that your temps will appreciate and LOVE:
1. Extend an invite to them for any team social gatherings you have, like Friday drinks or team lunches
2. Include them in staff meetings
3. Check in with them regularly to see how they’re doing
4. Try to offer them the same rewards and perks as full-timers receive
5. Organise team-bonding events like Trivia Tuesday, team outings, office karaoke sessions
Doing these and more will surely put you on the fast track to being an awesome workplace for temps.
And that is important. After all, you may need them again in the future.
4) Lead by example and ensure your permanents are doing so too
Your energy is contagious. So, keep it positive!
As a leader, you have a lot of control over the energy and vibe at your workplace. Your workforce depends on you to set the tone- to motivate, inspire, and empower.
To maximise your temps contribution during their short term with your company, it is up to you to energise them by embodying those company values yourself. Having a can-do attitude to challenges will allow your temps to absorb and push themselves one step further. If you believe something can be done, they will too.
Show your temps the bigger picture- where your company aims to be, how their contribution is adding value to the company’s future. Steer them towards excelling and giving their 100% to every task they do.
But, with that empowerment comes the importance of showing gratitude. If your workers are doing their level best for the company’s success, a “Good job!” is exactly what they need to give them that boost of confidence to keep doing what they’re doing.
What should you do if your temp messes up?
Step back, review the situation to see how it could’ve been done differently, and communicate that to your temp. In such situations, instead of losing your self-control, building resilience amongst the team is so much more beneficial. One step back, two steps forward.
But, this responsibility of ‘leading by example’ is not only on managers. It’s also on the permanent staff. Drive your full-time workforce to be positive role models in order to build an ‘in sync’ work environment- where your temps and full-timers work as one team to represent your company. After all….
5) Feedback, feedback, feedback!
Your temps are new to the company, working on a new project, around new people. Best case scenario? They know exactly what they’re doing and they’re doing an amazing job at it!
But, more often than not, they may be a little unsure on how they’re doing.
As a leader, providing clear guidelines for the task and making your expectations clear from the beginning could ensure that your temps are right on target with their work, allowing their contribution to be productive to your company.
You want to maximise their short time with you! So, we recommend:
1. Setting shorter targets
2. Checking in regularly
3. Providing lots of feedback
Caution!! By ‘feedback’ we don’t necessarily mean ‘negative’ feedback. If your temps are doing some great work, don’t forget to tell them that!
6) Create incentives by providing value-based rewards
Who doesn’t like being recognised in front of the whole team for a job well done?
More often than not, temps are not considered for company recognition rewards because they’re at the workplace for a short timeframe. We understand that it may be hard for your team to judge the worker’s contribution in that period of time. But it means that apart from verbal feedback, temps don’t really get recognised for the work they’re doing…(even if they’re doing an amazing job!)
Having temps as active participants in recognition and incentive programs helps build teamwork, collaboration, and engagement. Temps would have more fun and be more motivated to be productive if they had something positive to look forward to.
A great idea to drive your temps to go that extra mile would be to create a “value-based” recognition program where temps may receive an award if they literally live the company values. A sweet deal for your temps would be to give gift vouchers, access to gym memberships, or movie vouchers.
If that won’t push your temps to eat, breathe, and sleep your company values, what will? Right?
We’ve come to the end of our strategising session, so remember…
TAKEAWAY: Select the BEST people ever & empower them to be “one team”- a positive, inclusive, and changing-making team.