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How to Motivate Temporary Workers on Your Team

By Maurie Backman – Apr 24, 2019 at 6:48AM

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Investing in your temps could really pay off.

As a business owner, you're no doubt aware of how valuable temporary workers are. After all, these are the people who get you through your busy periods, all the while accepting the drawbacks that come with a lack of permanency.

If you're lucky, your temp workers will give their jobs their all, regardless of the fact that they're not privy to the same benefits as your permanent employees. Still, you may need to give them an extra push here and there. Here's how to keep your temporary employees engaged and motivated.

The word "temp" spelled out in tiles against sand-colored background.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

1. Offer cash incentives for strong performance

Just as it's common practice for companies to offer year-end performance bonuses for permanent workers, so too should you consider implementing some type of bonus structure for your temporary workers. You can make these bonuses milestone based (for example, data-entry folks get a cash boost after logging a certain amount of information) or simply give them out at your discretion based on what you see. The point, however, is to give your temp workers a reason to push themselves.

2. Let them participate in company wellness programs and celebrations

The tough part about being a temp worker is not really feeling like part of the team. That's why it's important to include your temporary employees in companywide happenings, even if their tenure is limited.

If your business offers wellness programs, whether they're fitness based or financial in nature, let your temps participate. If you're sponsoring a companywide lunch, invite your temps to join in, and be sure to pay them for the hour they're spending mingling with others. And if you're hosting a celebratory event such as a holiday party, make it clear that your temps are more than welcome. Doing so will help your temps feel better about their roles, and once they do, they'll be more inspired to perform their best.

3. Set the stage for long-term relationships

When your need for a given employee is only transient, bringing that person on board on a permanent basis doesn't make sense for you financially. But that doesn't mean you can't explore other ways to develop long-term relationships with your temps.

If, for example, your business tends to see a seasonal uptick during the summer or holidays, you can make it clear to your temps that you'd be happy to hire them again during those periods. Or you might leave things more flexible and tell your temps that once their current assignments come to an end, you'll surely keep their names in mind when new positions open up or the need for more manpower arises. The key, either way, is to send the message that while your current needs aren't necessarily permanent, it doesn't mean there won't be a solid long-term opportunity to work for you.

The more attention you pay your temp workers, the more you're bound to get out of them. Invest a little time into motivating your temporary employees, and with any luck, they'll be strong assets for your business while you have them on your payroll.

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