Adding temporary staff to your workforce brings your business crucial flexibility whenever it’s needed. Whether that’s during periods of seasonal demand, times of rapid growth or just to combat the effects of sector-specific skills shortages, the extra support short-term contracts bring can be vital.
But any business with a high temp staff turnover can experience one particular downside. As long working relationships tend not to have time to develop, this could risk diluting the company culture.
And working on your company culture will also help when high turnover is unexpected and your temps are leaving prematurely.
Company culture is the shared values, systems, beliefs and behaviour of your organisation and your workforce. It's essentially the magic ingredient that helps teams thrive. So how can you protect it while you’re going through transitions? And how can you improve it if your temps are leaving prematurely?
One way to shore up company culture with a high temp staff turnover is to make temps feel welcome. Focus on helping them feel part of your workforce. It’s easy for short-term workers to feel disconnected and cut off from your organisation, so aim to make them feel genuinely welcome.
Just as you’d give an in-person tour to a new permanent employee, show your temps around. Other ideas (if they’re relevant to your workplace) include:
We’ve also written more tips on how to make your temps feel part of the team.
Sharing your values with temps is crucial, too. Even if they only stay for a few weeks, wouldn’t it be great for them to start to feel a sense of emotional commitment to your company during that time? So when it comes to onboarding your values and culture, give them the same messages as you do to permanent team members.
Every organisation has a history, with workplace traditions that might stretch back years or decades. And while those are important to acknowledge, the world of work has gone through a transition recently.
The modern workplace has changed because of the pandemic. Has your company culture kept up? It’s a mistake to let your company culture stagnate, and letting things stand still boosts your chances of not surviving if your workforce is ever-changing.
So consider asking permanent as well as temp staff how they view the company culture. What works well and not so well? Is there anything other companies are doing now that could improve how your organisation does things? Embracing new ideas could keep everyone’s perspective fresh and bring all workers into a shared culture whether they’re temporary staff or long-term employees.
Giving the people who work for you a sense of ownership on how they could shape things can be powerful.
The very nature of temping is transitory. And many temps might choose to come to work, do their job and then go home again without getting too invested.
But bring training, progression and promotion into the conversation (if it’s relevant to your business) and your short-term workforce may be more engaged to integrate into the company culture.
At HR GO we recruit new talent for a huge range of employers (for temporary as well as permanent roles). We see how important company culture is for keeping employees happy, productive and engaged. In an uncertain hiring climate, where many sectors are still scrambling to fill vacancies, that makes it even more crucial.
And in an organisation where new people are joining, then leaving, to be replaced by more new people? Don’t risk harming the morale of your permanent staff. The more things change, the more important the company’s culture becomes.
Your company culture is what makes everyone feel good about coming to work. So whether someone’s been with you for a week, a month, or a year, aim to be inclusive and welcoming to all. If your temporary staff can feel at home just as much as your permanent team members, your company culture is in safe hands.