If you’ve decided to bring on one or more temporary workers to aid your business, then you’ve probably already realized that managing a contingent workforce differs in key ways from managing your full-time staff.
Here are some valuable tips on how to manage temp workers to ensure that they deliver the volume and caliber of work that you hired them to perform:
Have a Clear Action Plan
Prior to bringing on temporary workers, be sure you are able to answer the following questions:
- What is the approximate length of the project you want your temp worker to complete?
- What is the scope of the project and exactly what will it entail?
- How do you convey this information succinctly and accurately to someone who might be unfamiliar with your company?
Being a temporary worker requires individuals to slide as effortlessly as possible into new roles and learn quickly what is expected of them. Enable your temps to deliver their best work while by equipping them with all the information that pertains to the job they’re being asked to do.
While you don’t want to overwhelm, you do want to arm your temp for success. This means being able to clearly articulate what is being asked of them. In addition to conveying this information verbally, it can be a great help to put this on paper, so the temp can review the parameters and processes of a project while doing the work.
Don’t Treat Temps as Second-Cass Citizens
In the past, the term “temp” might have evoked the image of a mindless drone clocking in and out, or a wayward young person with little investment in their day job aside from making a buck pushing papers. But this is no longer the case. Many intelligent, engaged individuals pursue temporary work for its variety, the ability to enhance networking prospects, and for exposure to new industries and ideas.
With this in mind, be sure you do everything you can to make working at your company as rewarding for your temps as their efforts are beneficial to you. This means looping them into meetings and correspondences as appropriate to their designated projects — not just keeping those conversations among your full-time staffers. Temp workers rely on having all the necessary information given to them even more than full-time staffers, who have their prior history at your company to draw upon when they encounter questions relating to their work.
In addition, include temporary workers in any events and activities undertaken at the office. If it’s a staffer’s birthday, ask your temp if he or she’d like to sign the card. Going to lunch with your team? Invite the temp. Even if he or she declines, such consideration will help make your temp workers feel part of your company’s team, leading them to put their best efforts into their assigned tasks.
Solicit “Temporary” Input
Moving from project to project and company to company means temporary workers tend to amass a great deal of diverse experience. You may not realize that in addition to the computer skills you hired your temp for, he or she also possesses a knack for project management, or some other areas in which your company can benefit from additional ideas.
To get the most out of your temporary workers, be all ears with them. Ask them about their previous professional experiences and hone in on any correlations to the type of work your company does.
Another way to ratchet up the utility of your temps is to ask them their opinions when appropriate. While your staff is likely versed in the ins and outs of what your company aims to achieve, it’s always a good idea to seek fresh ideas and input. Temp workers are a great resource for this — almost like an in-house focus group — so be sure to get them to weigh in on matters that you think could benefit from new ideas or an additional perspective.
Stay in Touch with Talent
Just because their project has come to a close doesn’t mean you should send your temp packing with barely a good-bye. Good talent is good talent, regardless of how it comes to you, and there may come a time when you need quality temp workers once again. So document your temps’ time at your company well and be sure to maintain the contact information for those temps who did stellar work. Recurring temp jobs are some of the best around for contingent workers, so ensure that you’ll be able to go back to your best, most reliable temps again and again.