improve staff retention

Top tips to improve the retention of temporary staff

A well rounded recruitment process, induction and provision of on-going support for temporary staff can be a gateway to good employee retention levels. Although this process starts with the recruitment method, it should be seen as an ongoing branding exercise so temporary staff will not only want a contract with you, but they will also recommend working with you to others and want a permanent opportunity within your company.

No matter how skilled or unskilled a temporary staff member is, when they start a new work assignment a certain amount of training is required in order for them to successfully perform their assigned tasks and suit your specific company needs. Investing time, both in this training and in business orientation, will result in the longer retention of that staff member.

In order to improve overall retention, you will need to positively impact employee happiness at work. Reducing your temporary staff turnover can lead to increased productivity and happiness throughout the workplace. So although the premise of taking on temporary staff is that they will be working with you for a short amount of time, it’s worth investing your time in them.

Top Tips for staff retention

In order to retain good temporary employees, providing them with the following information within a well thought out recruitment process and a robust company induction will help:

Manage Expectations: Correctly inform temporary employees about the length of assignment, possible assignment extensions, example tasks to be performed and who they report to.

Communication channels: Provide the temp with details of any team members they will need to interact with. A list of names, job roles and how to contact them is invaluable information for a new starter.

Onboarding: All new hires should undergo an orientation program that includes an introduction to the company culture, your expectations of them and how they can positively contribute and thrive within the team.

Chain of command: Knowing who to turn to if things go wrong and how to seek out support will help a temp feel that they are cared about. For example, provide clear information on safety protocols and how to report work-related injuries.

Boundaries: It is important that temps know how to report absenteeism or lateness, and how it will be handled if they are absent or late. 

Supervision: Do not assume a new temp is fully able/prepared to work unsupervised. To ensure their safety give comprehensive training so they can successfully and correctly perform their tasks. 

Progression: Make sure they know who to talk to about opportunities for permanent roles within the company, including within other departments or teams.

Productivity: Temporary workers benefit from positive reinforcement and will thrive in a happy workplace just as much as permanent employees.

Reward: Recognition for a job well done will instil loyalty and create a positive working environment. Ensure that any form of reward is well thought out and doesn’t unintentionally discriminate.

Mentoring: For a temp to feel supported, pairing them with an experienced team member is a great way to offer guidance, support and a sounding board. A first day buddy can welcome them at the door, give them a tour, make introductions and check in with them at the end of day to answer any questions.

Teamwork: Fostering an atmosphere at work where everyone gets a chance to contribute their ideas and solutions can result in higher productivity and successful teamworking.

Unity: Breaking down any divide between temporary employees and permanent staff will increase work satisfaction and create unity within the team.

Bullying: Prove your commitment to a positive organisational culture by taking a zero-tolerance stance to any workplace bullying.

Feedback: Establish a process for offering temporary employees’ regular feedback. You should also seek their feedback, perhaps in the form of an Employee Happiness Index Survey.

If you incorporate these practices into your recruitment process of temporary staff, promoting an inclusive and happy workplace and ensuring you continually seek feedback and adjust accordingly, you can recruit and retain the best temps for their entire contracted term. You will have them return again if needed and transform them into productive permanent team members should the opportunity arise.

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.

staff retention
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