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10 Ways to motivate your temporary employees

Client Advice

10 Ways to motivate your temporary employees

10 Ways to motivate your temporary employees

How to motivate your temporary employees


Temporary employees can be an efficient and cost-effective asset to any business. Whether it’s covering busy work periods, staff absence, or to fill a sudden vacancy, they offer flexible cover that helps businesses to thrive. But there is also the danger that seasonal workers or temps can feel disengaged and unmotivated if they know they’re only going to be in a role for a limited amount of time. That is why it’s so important to consider the best ways to motivate temporary employees, to ensure employee engagement and that everyone has the best working experience.

1. Include temporary staff in team events

It’s well known that good teamwork improves individual employee performance, so it’s a no-brainer to make sure temporary staff are included in team events. Not only will it boost team morale and engagement, but temporary staff are also more likely to speak favourably about your business if they found it a welcoming and inclusive place to work. It could improve your reputation if ever you need to recruit more temporary staff or an immediate hire as part of your team.

2. Encourage and create new friendships

Creating a friendly team culture can be a challenge, but there are several ways you can do this. Start a buddy scheme at work so that each new temporary worker is assigned a permanent member of staff to check in on them, and ensure you tell temps about any social groups.

Allow temporary staff to spend time together and encourage people to take their breaks at the same time so that conversation and friendships can form.

3. Present the opportunity to learn new skills

Equipping temporary staff with new skills is a win-win situation. The temp will know that learning new skills makes them more employable in the long run so will be motivated to pick up any new knowledge, and the business is able to up-skill people in any areas they have a shortage in.

4. Offer advanced training

Any formal training shows a commitment to the personal and professional development of temporary staff and is a great way to motivate them whilst also reaping the rewards of a fully-trained workforce. There is the further advantage of being able to spot whether anyone excels in a particular area and could be a good permanent fit for your business.

5. Offer career advice with permanent team members

If you think it would be beneficial, ensure that temporary staff know they can approach team members for career advice. This might be particularly useful for people at the start of their career, such as students or recent graduates, or anyone looking for a change in career direction. You can make this a casual arrangement or formalise it with regular check-ins.

6.  Offer cash or other incentives

A bonus scheme is a sure-fire way to get staff motivated and engaged. For seasonal employees this could be hitting a performance target, such packing a certain number of orders within a shift and receiving vouchers, cash or free meals in return.

Remember that the goal needs to be a stretch but obtainable, and the incentive needs to be something that the employee will value and want to work towards. This is a great way to motivate seasonal staff who are employed to cover a particularly intense period of year.

7. Keep in contact about future work

Make it clear from the start of a temporary work engagement that you will be keen to keep in contact with people about future work if this pans out well. It’s also encouraging for temporary staff to hear of any permanent members of the business who started as temps, so they see that these temporary positions can turn into permanent roles with potentially a higher salary.

8. Communicate with them regularly

It’s important to remember to treat everyone as an individual, and for team managers to get to know their staff personally. When team managers are communicating with temps, they should greet them by their preferred name and make an effort to make conversation. It goes a long way to making someone feel like a valued member of a team, and it’s these informal conversations that build the foundations for great communication.

9. Highlight good work and reward however suitable

Whilst it’s important to track how people perform against goals and targets, remember some of the ‘softer’ contributions that people can bring to a workforce too. Highlighting good work, such as helping others or sharing knowledge, is a great way to motivate staff and show that you are paying attention to their progress.

10. Show appreciation in a group environment

A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way, particularly if you are in a group setting. It doesn’t matter whether you chose to gather everyone together or simply send a message or email to the entire team or staff, but showing gratitude and appreciation publicly makes people feel valued and encourages them to maintain or exceed that level of commitment and motivation going forward.

How to hire temporary staff for your business

If you’re a business that relies on hiring seasonal staff at peak times of the year, our guide on how to hire temporary staff is a great place to start. Our temporary recruitment team are also available to help you find the staff you need.

For a discussion about your requirements please contact one of our office branches who will be happy to qualify your requirement and begin finding you staff.

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