Temporary employees can be a great asset to your organization. They can help you meet critical deadlines, fill-in for unplanned absences and free your core staff to focus on their most important tasks.
But if your company uses large numbers of temporary employees, it’s easy for your direct staff to fall into an “Us vs. Them” mentality. And while treating temporary workers as an entirely separate workforce may seem innocuous, the practice can have unintended consequences for your direct employees.
For example, research from the University of Arizona has found that direct employees (particularly at lower levels) are less satisfied with co-workers and bosses when working with a higher proportion of temporary employees. Why? The responsibility of training and socializing temporary workers on company-specific processes is often assigned to direct employees. As a result, having more temporaries can complicate full-time workers’ jobs.
Here are a few suggestions for improving the working relationship between temporary and direct employees to achieve even better staffing results:
- Make temporary employees feel welcome. While temporaries are, in fact, a separate part of your workforce (and must be treated differently because of co-employment laws), you and your staff can still make them feel welcome in your organization. By encouraging social interaction (e.g., formal or informal introductions) among all workers, you can foster social ties that are essential to a cohesive workforce.
- Educate your direct staff. Take the time to clearly explain the role and value of temporary workers. The better your direct employees understand the benefits temporary help provides, the more likely they’ll be to work productively with them.
- Take advantage of training. If you use large numbers of temporaries, many staffing services will develop customized orientation and training programs for specific positions. This shifts the time-consuming burden of getting new temporary employees up-to-speed off your direct employees’ shoulders.
Bottom line, there are a number of steps you can take keep relations between temporary and direct employees positive. And the more positive their working relationship, the better your results will be. Contact UNITEMP today to learn more about our smart staffing solutions for New Jersey employers.