When employers and employees work together every day it’s important to create a team environment. Whether or not we like each other, we find a way to make it work. We reinforce the team message by providing a uniform or dress-code, maybe a badge or ID card, and we hold events or celebrations where all staff members are included.
But what about casuals, temps, contractors and work experience students? What impression do we give them while they are with us? Do we consider them to be part of our team?
Transient workers can be some of our best advertising. It is in the nature of all of us to talk about our experiences with others, and this also goes for people who spend time in our employ. We want to give them a positive experience which they will talk about with others. The best way we can do this is to make them feel welcome and included in the short time they are with us.
Image courtesy of westats/morguefile.com
In my own workplace, a not-for-profit organisation, I employ around fifty volunteers. It’s vital to create a positive team environment if we want them to stay around. Several of those volunteers have come to us from another organisation and they were quick to share their negative opinions of how they were treated there. It was a good reminder of the importance of keeping our workers happy.
We recently had our premises painted by a group of work-for-the-dole clients. They were on our premises for several weeks and soon became part of our team. The manger provided a spontaneous pizza lunch for them to show our appreciation.
Image courtesy of mohusni/morguefile.com
So the next time you employ a temp or a contractor, consider doing the following:
- Welcome them and spend a bit of time chatting. Introduce them to the team
- Provide them with a uniform where possible or at the very least, a badge
- Invite them to share your tea-room
- Encourage other staff to acknowledge them and include them in conversations
- Invite them to any staff celebrations or events
- Thank them for their time with you and, if appropriate, offer them a reference or recommendation