5 ways to get the most out of summer staff

Temporary workers can serve as a ‘business card’ for an organisation.

By Ashley Kelly Robert Walters Ireland

ARE YOU HIRING temporary staff this summer to cover the shortfall of permanent staff during the holiday period? Or do you use the quiet months to complete projects that have remained unfinished?

The summer period offers an excellent opportunity to hire a temp team to help catch up on tasks.

Just because a summer team comes to an organisation for just a few weeks, it is all the more important that he or she feels at ease quickly and is productive.

With that in mind, here are my five top tips to get the best out of your temporary team:

1. Prepare the first day well

If someone is only employed for a short-term stint, it is important that they get to work as quickly as possible.

To begin with, make sure that everything needed for the temp team to do their job is ready to go. For example, get logins up and running, have an access pass ready and make sure that there is a computer available for them.

Make sure that there is a job description and that the temp professional has clear objectives of what is expected of them in their role.

It’s also a good idea to ensure that someone has blocked time in their calendar to help get them up and running, whether this is a manager or the person he or she is temporarily replacing.

2. Monitor their progress

Employers sometimes think that progress meetings are unnecessary for a temporary employee, but explaining the tasks on the first day and leaving it at that is not enough.

By monitoring how things go each week and evaluating where they stand with their projects, you will ensure that your summer teams are working as effectively as possible and know what is expected of them.

3. Include your summer temps within your organisation

Ensure that all employees feel welcome and know which people they can ask questions within the company.

It sounds so obvious but invite your temporary colleague to lunch. Such a simple gesture can make a world of difference for summer staff.

4. Motivate your employees

Temporary jobs are not always the most challenging type. For example, getting rid of a pile of overdue documents can be quite monotonous. Yet there are ways to ensure that this type of work also offers satisfaction.

It can help to break up an assignment in parts so that a piece of the job is always done. That will give your temp team the satisfaction of completing a task and they will go into the next phase of the role with renewed energy.

In addition, it helps by putting the tasks in a broader perspective. If the employee realises how they contribute to the overall running of the organisation, that in turn will give them an extra incentive to deliver good work.

5. Leave a good impression

Be aware that every colleague that has worked within the organisation is a ‘business card’ for your company, even once the summer period is over. Lots of temporary workers will share a bad working experience with their friends, who you may wish to recruit full-time in the future.

Make sure you leave a good impression with your temporary colleague and remember to close the project off in a well-ordered manner so that your summer temp will leave your company with a good impression of the business.

Ashley Kelly is a managing consultant and recruitment firm Robert Walters Ireland.

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