Five Steps to Help Integrate Temporary or Contract Staff

Integrating temporary or contract staff into your business can sometimes be a tricky situation as generally temps are hired to fulfil a very specific task for a set period of time.

In an ideal work environment, temporary staff would seamlessly integrate with permanent workers for enhanced output and efficiency. However, the realities of workplace dynamics often cause problems stemming from unplanned interactions between core long-term workers and peripheral temporary staff.

Consistency with behavioural norms and a commitment to recognised and normative behavioural patterns that meet an organisation’s mission are usually an expectation of the workplace. Temporary or contract staff, who are more common in the flexitime, outsourced working world of today, may be unaware of behavioural expectations. This could cause some reduction in operational performance, even as work gets done.

So how do you integrate temps into your workforce?

Here are five tips:

  1. Think about how temporary or contract workers are added into the working organisation and ensure everyone they will be working with knows who they are and what their role is.
  2. Introduce your temporary contract to their co-workers and inform them who everyone is and how their role will fit into the working dynamic of the existing team.
  3. Make sure your temporary contract workers know exactly what skills are required of them and the tasks that are expected to perform.
  4. Don’t forget to induct the temporary worker, ensuring they receive orientation or training to fully understand your business and how their input will impact on the business outcomes.
  5. Make sure that all temporary and contract workers have access to training and development, much like the rest of your team. Empowering your staff with new skills is a key step to ensuring they feel needed and valued.

It is important for people to be accepted by their work group. Collaboration and involvement in group problems leads to expression of feelings and perceptions. If temporary members in a work group hide those feelings or are not accepted as members of their group, the individual’s willingness to solve problems constructively will diminish. Encouragement of openness can strengthen the work team by stimulating trust and problem-solving capacities, improving temporary and contract staff integration and operational efficiency.

Improving workforce performance and operational efficiency throughout the enterprise requires perpetual adaptation of corporate expectations to circumstances as they unfold, rather than reliance on the rigid directives of paper strategies, which always change during practical execution.

There is no way to stop the changes already underway in the workplace. But in light of other consequences of workplace evolution – diminished job stability, longer working hours, potential decline in the number of good jobs, widening gap between unskilled and skilled workers – it will be important to strategically navigate an economic course that stimulates business and creates a supply of good jobs for the workers of tomorrow.

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Image courtesy of emdot

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