According to figures from The International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies, the UK has the highest number of employees on temporary contracts in Europe, with temps representing over 5 per cent of the UK workforce.
With such a large proportion of temporary workers contributing to the UK’s workforce, this group is an integral part of business operations and should be recognised and rewarded for their input. However, employers face a number of challenges when it comes to successfully motivating this particular group of workers.
For example, building collaborative relationships with colleagues can take time, which is a challenge if the employee’s contract is short term. This is a cause for concern when you consider that two fifths of employees stay in their current job because of solid relationships with colleagues. Further still, the temporary employee may sit outside of reward schemes, such as end of year recognition due to their limited time with a company.
Motivating individuals – and teams
Business leaders will also be aware that motivational strategies are as diverse as the demographics they’re intended for, and with temporary workers taking on different roles for different reasons, a one-size-fits all approach is not advisable. So the question is, how can you motivate individual temps to get the best results, while also embedding this essential group within the larger team?
Our research has shown that ‘feeling valued’ by a boss is one of the top motivational factors that really helps drive British employees at work. A motivated team, comprising both permanent and temporary staff, should be at the heart of every business, as a continuously engaged and driven workforce is often more efficient. Feeling positive and valued at work can also impact on staff wellbeing. Thanking employees for a job well done is always welcome and is a top motivational factor for over half of UK employees, and more personal touches can go a long way too.
Thanks to their flexibility and convenience, gift cards are becoming increasingly popular as extra short-term motivators for temporary workers alongside permanent staff. Going above and beyond thanking staff for hard work, a gift card offers employers a more creative way to show temporary workers that they are just as valued as the full time team members, while also improving the employee/employer relationship.
A gift card allows the recipient the freedom to choose a gift to suit their own needs, ensuring that they receive real value by getting something they truly want. Gift cards can also be purchased in a range of denominations, making it easier for businesses to manage spend. Many rewards are performance related, so a gift card provides a valuable solution for temporary workers who are set short-term targets and will not be eligible for end-of-year performance recognition.
A positive team dynamic
The culture of teamwork within the workplace also plays an important role in a motivational strategy. Companies that recruit temporary staff might consider teambuilding exercises and regular social events as one way of sustaining motivation. Without the distraction of office life, staff members can get to know each other on a personal level, which in turn creates a positive dynamic within the team. Effectively motivating the temps to work collaboratively with their colleagues and understand team dynamics will help to embed them within the larger team and keep this vital demographic working within organisations.
Ensuring temporary staff in your business feel valued can help them perform effectively, impacting positively on the business’ bottom line. It’s also worth remembering that you may decide to re-hire the temporary employee or offer them a permanent role. With these factors in mind, it is recommended that the business implement effective motivational strategies to give them a positive impression of the organisation and encourage them to achieve good results.
Jacqui Glenn is director of Argos for Business.
Further reading on temporary contracts
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