temporary worker purpose

How to give a sense of purpose to your temporary workers

Finding ways to give your temporary workers (temps) a purpose, will prevent them from becoming disengaged and disinvested. If they do, this can be bad for business and can negatively impact the morale of your whole workforce.

After the disruption of the pandemic, many people are asking themselves, “what is my purpose in life?”. As a result, more people are seeking roles that give them that sense of purpose and the chance to feel a part of something bigger. Here is our guide on how to facilitate your temporary workers to be happy, invested, engaged and productive at work.

How to give temporary staff a sense of purpose

Creating purpose in the workplace should be the responsibility of the company leaders and their employees (permanent and temporary). Working together to connect the work they do with the impact it has, is much easier when your employees come to work open-minded, ready to contribute, feeling valued, supported, and happy. Click here to read about how working with purpose can impact productivity.

  • Manage culture – developing a company culture that focuses on more than just profit will allow staff to channel their energy towards a common cause. Linking your company culture to a sense of purpose such as, giving great customer service or offering new solutions, can help to reinforce that link.
  • Connect the “what” and the “why” with the impact – once your temporary employees understand that what they do makes an impact within the company, it will help them to connect the dots and understand why they do it. In turn, this will motivate them to be more engaged and productive at work.
  • Set goals - knowing what you’re working towards and why, allows temporary workers to achieve specific and measurable personal and organisational goals, earning recognition and praise for hitting their targets.
  • Grow and learn – facilitating ways for your employees to grow and learn on the job will give them a sense that they matter. If they benefit from receiving training and can see themselves working for the company, they are more likely to make the effort to work harder and with a sense of purpose. Therefore, it is important to offer training and development to all employees, including temporary workers.
  • Establish mentor programs – by allowing your permanent workers to mentor your temporary workers, you can enable an environment where employees can share perspectives and knowledge, seek solutions, and help each other in a productive and collaborative workplace.
  • Create a collaborative work environment – to ensure your organisation promotes collaboration you will need to facilitate ways for colleagues to connect, ask them for their input into decisions, communicate what has been decided in an engaging way, make sure these chosen actions are being done and congratulate them when they are accomplished.
  • Create a level playing field – company slogans or mission statements do not create a culture or enforce values. Involving everyone in creating a culture and inputting into the organisation’s values, allows employees to feel empowered to contribute and influence the company’s purpose.
  • Give something back – by demonstrating that your organisation gives something back to its customers and/or community, allows your employees to align themselves with your sense of purpose and adopt it as their own.

Aligning individual purpose with company purpose

In a global survey carried out on 26,000 LinkedIn members, 74% of people want a job where they feel that their work matters1. So how do you align each individual employee’s purpose with company purpose?

  • Make them feel their purpose – by eliciting an emotional reaction, you are more likely to motivate your team into engaging with their work. Whatever line of work your company is in, if people can see the cause and effect of what they do and how it impacts on customers and/or colleagues, they will feel a sense of purpose.
  • Make it authentic – as a motivational team leader, you need to believe in what you are saying and doing. If your attempts to make your team feel their purpose do not align with your other behaviours, then your employees are more likely to feel manipulated rather than inspired.
  • Make it personal – ask your team to put themselves into the shoes of your customers or users. Make them think about how what they do impacts others, and that when it’s done well and with purpose, it can really make a difference.

How temporary workers can feel purposeful

Positively impacting the performance, attitude, and productivity from day one can help to make your temps feel a part of the team and purposeful.

What factors can influence temps to develop a sense of purpose at work:

  • Timely and accurate pay.
  • Instructions on how long the assignment should last and if there is an opportunity for it to become permanent.
  • On the first day the, line manager should speak with the temp to aid their understanding of why the company is worth engaging with and working hard for.
  • Knowing what they will be asked to do and why they do it, will help them to contribute to the organisation’s larger goals.
  • Office “rules”, company policies, expectations, protocols, etc. Clear guidance on tardiness, absences, performance reviews, getting feedback, their duties and how to apply for a permanent role.
  • Meet the team first-hand and be given a list of who’s who, what they do and how to reach them. This will impact their ability to problem solve if any issues arise.
  • If an issue does arise or a temp needs approval to proceed with their tasks, make sure your team are on hand and willing to offer advice or assistance.
  • Give training or on-the-job instruction that allows the temps to begin work with confidence. Poor training can result in errors and anxiety.
  • Involving your temps in your workplace culture can help to boost productivity.
  • Treating your temporary and permanent staff equally and thanking and/or rewarding them for hard work will go a long way to giving temporary employees the motivation to be purposefully productive.

How temp staff with purpose can improve your company’s productivity

Bringing in temporary workers and instilling them with a sense of purpose using the methodology above, can also impact positively on your permanent staff. You should witness increased productivity in your permanent staff when they feel supported by temp workers.

The flexibility of temping staff means that you can give your permanent team the support they need when they need it, for example, to cover annual holidays or paternity leave. The best way to achieve this is by having access to a talented pool of temps who can cover specialist roles or are highly qualified candidates who have previously expressed an interest in joining your company. 

Competitive pay and attractive perks are still influencing factors on how productive and satisfied your workforce is, but the ability of all your employees to experience and share a company-wide culture of purpose is increasingly important to the success of your organisation.

 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 businesses - so to find out more about how you can use happiness to improve productivity throughout your entire organisation, click here. increase staff retention
How useful did you find this article?
Thank you for your feedback!

Share location?

Do you want to share your location for a better user experience?