Temporary employees are a terrific solution for many organizations to get through a busy season, to cover off leaves, or to get help on big projects. The best scenarios are when it’s mutually beneficial for both the employer (who gets an employee without having to hire another full-time person) and the employee (who gain experiences, but for one reason or another doesn’t want to be locked into a job permanent job).
Even though the talent isn’t going to be around long-term, this should not stop a company and its employees from treating that person with respect. Unfortunately, too often temporary employees don’t feel the same love as their permanently employed counterparts. For example, perhaps they feel they’re outperforming the permanent employees but being compensated less. Other times, permanent employees may start bullying, either because they feel superior in the workplace or they simply feel threatened.
The fact is that everybody — permanent or temporary — deserves respect and has a right to a safe and healthy work environment. It is up to you, the employer, to guarantee that happens. One of the first ways you can do this is by ensuring that your temporary employees are treated as well as the permanent ones. Here’s how you can lead by example:
- Train the temps just as well as you’d train the perms so they have the same chances of success.
- Share company perks with temporary employees.
- Engage with temporary employees as you would any other employee — refer to them by name (not just “The Temp”), introduce them to the team and managers, and ask for their input.
- Hire for fit, increasing the chances that everyone works well together.
- Mix around workspaces, rather than have an area of temps and an area of perms.
- Hire them back if they’re awesome!
Remember, there’s a chance that you’ll want to call back the high performing temporary employees or hire them on to join your permanent team, and how you treat them now will affect their decision. Even if you don’t want them back, they will be talking to other prospective employees and agencies.
Do you work with temporary employees? If so, how have you made sure they fit in with their team and the organization? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.