Peanut butter and Jelly. Salt & Pepper. Autumn and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Saturday mornings and triathlon training. These are all things that go together perfectly. (Much of the team here at HH Staffing may disagree with my triathlon training and Saturday morning combination) In an ideal workplace, a perfect combination of permanent personnel and contingent staff work together well to accomplish the mission. However, sometimes this balance is difficult to manage. A contingent workforce is an employment relationship which is considered non-permanent. This is often called by a variety of names- temps, temporary staff, contractors, project staff, day labor, consultants, temp-to-perm. Whatever the name, often the challenge stems from getting the same productivity from this contingent workforce without having an incredible amount of turnover. In order to reduce the turnover, these workers should be made to feel equal to the staff on hand. Here are three recommendations I have for fostering a better work environment from your contract workforce. I have experienced that if these three things are done correctly that morale, commitment, communication, loyalty & productivity all increase substantially.
Treat Them Fairly & Equally
Good managers must stop making distinctions between the two kinds of workers and focus on and adopt a higher holistic view that embodies “We are one workforce. We help each other as one team to get whatever is tasked accomplished”. In both formal surveys and anecdotal discussions with some of our temporary workers, the reason they give for leaving the last position was that they didn’t feel like they were accepted as part of the team and treated equally to other permanent staff at the business. This lack of acceptance was not specifically management alone, but more of a corporate environment that it was an “us” and “them” at all levels of the company.
“It was one of the manager’s birthday. All the permanent staff was invited to the breakroom where they had cake and a little celebration. None of us were.” – A Maintenance Tech contractor’s reason for leaving a former position.
Build a corporate culture that fosters the workforce as one community by treating them as fairly and equitably as your full-time or “regular” workers. While inviting everyone to company events like a Christmas Party (or participating in internal traditions like bringing in a cake for someone’s birthday) is a great idea, the way they are treated on a day-to-day basis matters more. The way they are talked to, managed & worked with are the real keys to them believing they are being treated as equals and with respect. Involve them in appropriate business decisions and seek their advice according to their role. They offer perspective in that role you may not have. Salesforce is often a company that is perennially identified as one of the best places to work. Forbes has this excellent video about them that reinforces the importance of treating all workers fairly and with respect to build an amazing corporate culture. Here is the link to that. Cultivating an environment of authenticity, in which employees can bring their whole selves to work is critical to the growth of your business.
Contract labor provides you an immediate worker with a specific skill set that is needed to get a job done. Respecting them has some overlap with the above point, but it goes more than just treating them equally. Foster an environment and culture of respect to ALL WORKERS. Realize they add valuable and necessary skills, ideas and are part of your team. More than just workers and managers, it is the right thing to do as human beings to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Here at HH staffing I strive to continue to foster an environment where everyone I work with feels valued, respected and treated well. That goes for all our internal team, all the temporary or direct hire workers we interview and place, as well as the clients we work with. I believe that respect is so fundamental to success I even made it part of our mission statement. Do right by your people and they will do right by you. Sometimes people make mistakes. Turn these into teachable moments. My brother served in the U.S. Army and a leadership lesson he was taught was “Praise in public, reprimand in private”. I always liked that and think it is a good way to show respect and strong leadership.
Temporary staff often have a specific job they come in and do and then move on. Rewarding these workers can help increase productivity, increase workplace sentiment (which turns into public sentiment) and just overall betters the relationship between your company and its contingent workforce.For any reward to work, it must have meaning. Since the contingent workers understands that they are only there for a specific time, sometimes it is difficult to instill a sense of pride in the company they work for. Share with them not just your vision and goals of the role, but the significance of the company they work for.
Is the company involved in the community or do charity work?
Does your company offer a service or product that helps people?
For example, a property management company isn’t just responsible for cutting grass and fixing broken air conditioners. You are providing people a safe home where they will make friends and raise families. A place that you manage to help them create memories. Whatever the role of the temp worker, from groundskeepers, to property managers, to accountants, to office workers, to light industrial and more are all part of providing something that is wanted or necessary to better someone’s lives. Echo that sentiment to your workers. Let them know that they are part of something meaningful. An article in Fast Company, a leading publication for business paradigms, recently wrote that many workers are looking for meaning in what they do. The Business Challenge of Our Time Is Creating Meaningful Work
At HH Staffing our mission is helping people. That is what we are focused on every day. We help clients find amazing people to work with them and find opportunities that provide jobs and bring dignity to workers.
Bringing it all together, treating your workers fairly and equally, recognizing and rewarding and respecting the contributions of your contingent workers will boost productivity and enhance their commitment while servings the needs of the organization, the worker, the community.
HH Staffing has over 30 successful years of helping create that bridge between the right candidate in temporary, temp-to-permanent and direct hire roles and a company that respects, rewards and treats employees fairly. Call us at 941-751-6262 or Contact us through the website to learn more about how we can help your organization.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.