Temps are People Too
As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I get to see some incredible clients that are striving to improve how they do business and who are trying to adjust to the new way that they have to deal with people. My clients get it! It’s not uncommon to use temp employees in their organization to give them the capacity to flex to customer demands. Back in the day, this employee retention author worked in an organization as an HR leader where we hired 300-500 temporary seasonal employees to produce our product due to the nature of our business. Temp agencies didn’t exist back then. Instead, we hired them direct. It was a real challenge and keeping them for extended periods of time was a major challenge as well.
When we hired the temps, I interviewed them and so did the supervisors that they would be working for. We got to know them and, as such, we saw the people side in them. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t do that anymore. They call the temp agency and tell them, “Send over a temp.” That’s it. Then they give them some basic orientation and put them on the line to work. That’s all. In many cases, it’s like they are invisible. The regular employees pay minimal attention to them and leadership has them do whatever tasks they can perform with minimal training. There’s a certain ambivalence to the whole situation. That’s where the problem lies.
Many organizations now use a temp to perm approach to hiring and with the ambivalence they display, they go through temps like people change their shirts. But not my clients. They see the temps as valuable assets. They see temps giving them flexibility but also see the value they bring to the organization. And, they know that this is one of their pipelines to someone becoming a regular employee so they treat the temps like they are people. Regular employees work closely with them, get to know them and treat them like they would treat any employee. Supervisors get to know them as well. The temps love it! They’re not second-class citizens. They’re a valuable asset to the organization and they know it. Because of this, my clients have a stable resource that wants to become a part of the organization for the long-term. This is the approach you must take today with employees being in short supply. If you want to enhance your employee retention, you need to think about your “temps” as well and the best thing you can do is treat them like people!