When you first announce the arrival of temporary help to your employees, the response may be one of dismay. Your employees may have dozens of concerns. Who are these temp workers? What skills do they have? Where will they work? What will they do? How will their job fit into the company’s day-to-day workflow? How can regular staff address any conflicts that arise?
By anticipating your staff’s most likely concerns, you can address problems before they start. By delivering the news of temporary help to your staff before your temp workers arrive, you can reduce worries among permanent staff and help them build better working relationships with their new, temporary co-workers.
To prepare your staff for temp help, consider the following tips:
- Make the temp workers’ roles clear. Conflicts between temporary and permanent staff most often arise when one or both are unclear on what work the temps should be doing. If temporary staff are brought on to handle a specific project, clarify that the temp staff’s role is to handle the project, not the day-to-day work that is the responsibility of regular staff. If the temp’s job is to help with additional workflow, make it clear to current staff that the situation is temporary and that there are clear benchmarks in place for the temp’s job. Emphasize that the temp help’s job is to keep the department on track.
- Brief your staff on the temp’s capabilities. Often, temporary staff are hired because they have a specific technical skill or capability that the current staff lack. If this is the case in your organization, explain to your current employees how the temp’s skills are available to help them do their work more efficiently and effectively. Set up a system by which staff can work with the temporary staff when needed without overwhelming them.
- Make sure the lines of communication work. Successful organizations make it possible for employees to voice concerns and seek help in handling conflicts constructively. When temporary staff join the team, regular employees might need these lines of communication more than ever. Make sure everyone knows who to turn to if a problem arises.