Will Temporary Employees Be Successful on Your Team?

temporary employees

Your administrative assistant is going on vacation and you’ve lined up temporary help from a staffing firm in her absence. You may be ready to mark that task off your to-do list, but hold on. Have you fully prepared for the contingent worker’s arrival? Here’s what you need to be doing.

Introducing temporary employees into your team requires a certain amount of planning and preparation. The typical temp is quite skilled at adapting quickly to new environments and hitting the ground running, but you still will need to take certain steps to ensure the person’s success.

Here’s how to get interim employees dialed in from the start:

  • Involve your staff

Ask your full-time employees what skills and assistance is needed most, and let them know your plans. This way, the entire group understands the nature of the engagement, how long the assignment will likely last and what workload relief they can expect.

  • Get the workplace ready

Ensure the necessary materials and supplies are there at the desk upon the temporary professional’s arrival, computers have the latest software and logon information is provided. You don’t want that administrative assistant sitting there staring into space while she waits for someone to give her critical access to the network.

  • Create a friendly atmosphere

Arrange for a mini-orientation of the work area, an overview of general policies and introductions to key team members. Also invite the person to any birthday celebrations or team lunch outings. Temporary employees who feel connected to the team are going to be more productive.

Pay attention to how you introduce interim employees to other staff. Saying, “This is the temp, David” can leave David feeling like he’s an outsider. A better approach: “This is David, and he will be handling Gloria’s responsibilities while she’s on maternity leave.”

  • Be clear about your needs

Make sure you let the temporary employee know exactly what is expected, including details like project goals, deadlines and any unique company practices. Consider sharing a handout with any information critical to performing the job well.

  • Set up a support system

The primary contact should be familiar with the contingent worker’s assignment, so consider people in similar but more senior positions if you can’t take on the role yourself. Assign backup contacts in case the temp has questions and the primary is unavailable.

  • Communicate often

Touch base regularly with the temporary professional so you can keep track of his or her progress. Encourage the person to ask questions whenever instructions or expectations are unclear. Also, keep the staffing firm informed of how the temporary worker is performing on the assignment.

Do you have other tips on how to ensure a temp is successful? Share them below.

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Tags: Management