Temporary Help, Making It The Best It Can Be (Part 2)
Access To The Work Area Where Temporary Employees Will Be Working
In order for a staffing company to best serve you and their employees, they must know as much as possible about the jobs and workplace where they will be working. How many employees does your company hire without first showing that person the job site and letting them experience the general environment in which the work will be performed? Probably none. HR professionals know and understand the value of visits to the various departments/work areas to get a general sense of how employees are doing, to compliment them when you hear good things about their work habits, and encourage them when you hear they are falling short of expectations. In general, you give them an opportunity to speak with you regarding any employment or personal issues they may have. It allows you to “sense the pulse” of the workforce. It can provide valuable information regarding potential problem areas. These and other meaningful functions cannot be effectively accomplished without access to the work areas. Of course, these visits must be done with minimal disruptions to the work activity of employees and must always be scheduled and approved by the client (especially with the supervisor or manager over the specific work area). Good communications and procedural requirement must always be adhered to when making on-site visits. If permitted, you should draft a protocol for staffing company workplace visits. It can be a very helpful tool if used properly.
Investigating workplace accidents and injuries involving temporary employees is just as important to a staffing company as for you when your employees are involved in an workplace accident or injury. The temporary help company is confronted with unique challenges in providing a safe work place for their employees in that they have no control or responsibility over the various work sites where they place employees. A top notch staffing company normally has a Safety and/or Risk Control Manager, with sophisticated policies and procedures governing all aspects of safety, ADA, drug free workplace policies, accident investigation, etc. Hopefully, you are familiar with the safety policies of the staffing company you use and have met the staffing company’s person responsible for safety/workers’ compensation compliance. If not, contact them and ask to meet with them to review safety policies and establish protocol for accident investigation and other safety issues regarding temporary employee. You should provide emergency information to supervisors and managers should a temporary employee be injured on the job (client supervisors and managers need to know the protocol).
Participation In Client Meetings, Activities, and Goals
I believe much can be gained from participation of temporary employees in client employee meetings, activities, goals, and other workforce initiatives. First, it seems to help promote the one goal, one purpose philosophy. Quite often temporary employees feel as though they are not a part of the team or are seen just as temporary workers that will probably work a day or two and then quit. Including them in department meetings and activities and giving them recognition for good performance helps to make them feel a part of the “team”. Being friendly and speaking to them as you do other employees does wonders for their morale. One example is to include them in safety meetings. I often attended client supervisor meetings and was given time to address issues involving temporary employees and to ask questions of how to make our service better. It was very productive and brought out a lot of good thoughts and ideas that greatly improved our service and overall relationship with those clients.
Our Risk Control Manager often gave presentations during client safety meetings and helped many of our clients set up and develop safety plans. In addition, our temporary employees and staff were occasionally invited to client company picnics.
There were many such occasions that brought a sense of accomplishment to me, and I feel it brought the same feeling to the clients we served. As was mentioned earlier in this article, staffing companies bring with them a multitude of resources and helpful ideas. Hopefully, you will see the benefit of some of these suggested opportunities and will invite your staffing company to participate in selected meetings, events, etc.