With the global workforce dynamics changing rapidly, temporary workers today form a significant part of our organizations. This has given rise to the flexi-staffing industry, where people are hired for their expertise, for a given period. According to the Indian Staffing Federation, by 2025 this industry will account for more than 10% of India’s workforce. While the growth sounds alluring, and the expertise necessary, what does it mean for engaging this workforce? 

Since this employee group hops around acclimatizing to different work cultures and company dynamics, their engagement takes a hit. Let’s look at how to make it better for them:

  • More thoughtful on-boarding. Temporary workers are thrown into the fire, without much handholding about how to manage the fatigue, the sharp productivity, and even the emotional rollercoaster that can occur. This can trigger a belief that they lack the tools to do their jobs well. Disengagement and unhappiness are soon to follow. 

However, if employees can ask questions in moments of uncertainty, it can enhance their safety, and hence performance. Managers, make time for quick personal check-ins to create an environment where employees feel looked after, and experience less fear. Avoid putting them on the spot.

  • Amplify the number of personal perks. Stress is often the norm of short-term projects, because they have quick turnaround times. And the more thoughtful a work environment is, the better people can manage the stress. So, offer as many perks as possible, like free food during breaks. Or even start each day with a team gratitude practice. Research shows that grateful staff are more satisfied with their jobs, more engaged, and eventually turn into strong brand ambassadors for the organization. That’s a big plus.
  • Make inclusion non-negotiable. Somehow, temporary workers aren’t considered on par with full-time employees, and hence, sometimes, get reduced perks, attention, or even training. But, we invite you to take on the outlook of Rob Hepplewhite, District Manager for VANS – “Serve everyone the same way, no matter the title, and no matter whether they were seasonal employees or not. When I have direct reports, I have never viewed them as ‘working for me’ … it was I who worked for them. That creates culture, growth, and customer value.”

If you want talent that supports and amplifies this short-hire period, make them feel mattered. It’s not the money. It’s the personal gestures that build loyalty and get you ace talent.

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