How to involve temp staff in your workplace culture

Business leaders who can empower their people are paving the way for a thriving company culture. 

More and more businesses are starting to realise the importance of creating a great culture for their employees ensuring that they feel comfortable, ambitious and happy while at work. The level to which a temporary workforce is embedded in a company’s operations and culture can drastically impact the extent to which they identify with the company, want to embody its values and choose to exert themselves at work.

A large proportion of today’s employees report feeling undervalued and disconnected from their management. 86% of employees feel connected to their direct co-workers, but only 14% feel connected to their business HQ1.

Business leaders who can empower their people to have open communication and democratic conversations, have the ability to turn these statistics around, paving the way for a thriving, innovative and loyal workforce.

The key to success is a positive culture that involves everyone and is based on a strongly held and widely shared set of values that are supported by strategy and structure. The perpetuation of a strong culture starts with the recruitment process and the selection of applicants who will share the company’s beliefs and be ambassadors for its culture. Through the development of orientation, training and performance programs that outline and reinforce your core corporate values, you can ensure that the appropriate rewards and recognition go to employees who truly embody these values. However, when you add temporary workers into this mix, who may not stay in the role for very long, it can be difficult to inspire the same alignment of core values and culture shared by the permanent staff.

Temporary staff and their place in workplace culture

Creating a successful and positive culture across any workforce can be challenging, but it can be significantly more so for employers of temporary workers. Temps, often who work irregular hours alongside a variety of permanent employees, can find it difficult to feel like an integral part of the business and its culture. Those who are unsure about the role they play within the company or feel that they aren’t fully accepted by their co-workers are likely to lack enthusiasm or feel deflated.

Temps were once seen as fulfilling ancillary, supportive roles and so it was often felt that they did not need to embody the company values or be ingratiated into its culture. More recently however, temporary workers are so numerous and impactful that they are recognised as a critical workforce segment, needed to secure a companies’ ability to meet their operational demands, innovate new products and services, and execute their business strategy.

Opening the lines of communication to foster a culture

Workplace communication can come in many forms and it needs to flow in all directions to be effective. The way co-workers connect is similar to how people connect and form friendships outside of work, by sharing experiences, ideas and interests that bring communities together.

When a workplace makes use of tools that facilitate communication and collaboration, like messaging platforms, document sharing and video conferencing software, they can bring together an entire workforce whether they are temporary, permanent, frontline, desk-based, deskless, field working or remote working.

Connecting the entire business and ensuring everyone has a voice is an essential part of a happy and successful organisation. Workers need effective ways to spread information, ideas and best practices in order to perform their best and enjoy their work.

The importance of communication in creating a robust culture should not be underestimated:

  • Collaboration tools help workers to feel that their organisation values community.
  • Open communication enables employees to express themselves in a way that’s natural to them.
  • When ideas aren’t shared, they can’t be used.
  • Face-to-face interaction and communication can help leaders to establish a good relationship with their workforce.
  • Innovation only comes about in an environment where new ideas are welcomed and allowed to thrive.
  • Broken communication channels limit cohesion and damage the sense of shared vision.
  • Inaction to facilitate communication can make staff feel that their ideas aren’t valued, driving further silence.
  • Poor communication channels prevent valuable ideas from rising through the business, limiting innovation and stopping key talent from being recognised.

temp staff inclusivity

Beyond communication

A sense of community and connectedness is the foundation for creating a successful business culture, and while communication is fundamental to successful cohesiveness, it is not the only important step to involving temporary staff in your workplace culture. Read our blog to find out how you can create an inclusive workplace culture for your temporary staff.

Although there can sometimes be a cost attached to inducting temporary workers into the company in the same manner you do with permanent staff, it is worth while weighing up the long term cost of high staff turnover found in companies with a poor culture, versus the low turnover in those with a successful work culture.

“Job turnover in an organisation with positive company culture is a mere 13.9 percent, compared to turnover in low company cultures at 48.4 percent.” 2

A workforce that feels like a community, where ideas, successes and opinions are supported and celebrated, will be more likely to welcome new employees into their ranks, and employee turnover diminishes, productivity increases, and business prosperity can flourish.

In this series, we are looking to unlock the secrets behind empowering, engaging and motivating your entire workforce with the power of happiness. Although they are often under-represented within existing productivity and business development guidance, Blue Arrow believes that temporary workers are an integral part of the wider workforce driving your business. To find out more about how you can use happiness to improve productivity throughout your entire organisation, click here.

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