Temp workers can provide a significant boost to your business. Whether they are helping with graphics, sales support, marketing, sourcing, or samples, they can greatly increase your productivity. This begs the question, as a manager, how do you get the most out of your temps?
Have a Clear Plan
You’ll need to have answers in mind to the following questions:
- What is the approximate length of the project you want your temp worker to complete?
- What is the scope of the project and exactly what will it entail?
- How do you communicate this information succinctly and accurately to someone who might be unfamiliar with your company?
Train Them Up
It may seem like a poor investment to spend a lot of time training temp workers. However, the investment is well worth it. Take the time to ensure that your temps are great representatives of your business. The training cost, time, and money will be worth it because it allows you to feel comfortable and confident in the work of your temps.
Make sure that your new team members know what is expected of them. Explain how both you and the temp win by the current working relationship. Some temporary workers are focused on making money or gaining some work experience, however, setting expectations for them will greatly increase their motivation and drive.
Seasonal employees and temps are not motivated by the same set of benchmarks and goals as your permanent employees. Goals for your temps should be shorter-term than those for your permanent employees. Fun incentives and contests are especially effective with a team of temps.
It can be easy to view temps as a short-term cog in your business. This perception is outdated and incorrect. Temps are people too. Ask questions about them. Get to know them just like you would with any other member of your team. If you take the time to learn about your temporary employees as people, it can allow you to be a better manager and to get the most of them.
Include your temps in as many meetings and company functions as you can. This practice is very easy for most managers. If you take the time to get to know your temporary employees and include them in meetings, you’ll learn how they can best help your business get to the next level.
Much like managing a permanent employee, praise works wonders with temps. This is a very easy way to make your temps or seasonal employees feel like part of the team.
Temp employees provide an excellent method to scale up and down your business. They can add significant skills, expertise, and production. Follow the seven steps above to keep your temps performing at 100%.
Have you ever employed temp or seasonal workers? What was the experience like for you?
More and more people are utilizing home offices. Technology now easily bridges the gap between the main office and the home office. Home offices often allow for a better work/life balance and provide valuable flexibility. However, home offices do present a few challenges. How do you create a space where you want to spend time? How do you best set yourself up to follow a productive daily routine?
Below we’ll focus on steps that will help you answer these two questions and will set you on the path of success with your home office.
Prior to setting up your home office, you’ll have to ask yourself the following questions:
- What will you be doing in the space?
- What type of work needs to be done?
- Will clients ever visit the space?
- Will colleagues visit for work?
- What type of materials will you store?
- What kind of equipment do you need?
Once you’ve determined the answers to the questions above, it’s time to get started.
Choose your space
Select a place in your home that’s peaceful and quiet. You’ll want to avoid interruptions and loud noises.
Paint your space
Choose a soothing color that you like and paint your office. Gentle colors are usually better than bold ones.
Select a suitable desk
Select a desk that is comfortable and allows for plenty of surface space for work. Your desk is the center of your work day, so it’s best to invest in quality.
Buy a comfortable chair
Here, it’s best to get something ergonomic since you’re going to be sitting for quite some time during the work day.
Get high-speed internet
This is an obvious need. When working from home, internet is the lifeblood of your work. Make sure you have 25 Mbps at minimum.
Set up a private business phone line
Get a VoIP phone and a dedicated business line. You don’t want to run into issues with the family line.
Use a clock or timer to keep track of your office hours
Keep track of the time that you spend working in your office. It’s easy to let work creep into your family time. Use a timer or clock to ensure that you’re exercising the discipline needed to excel in a home office.
Add some greenery
A plant adds some much-needed beauty to a home office. Get something that will work with the amount of sunlight that hits your space.
Invest in good lighting
You’ll do a lot of reading and writing in your office, and the space needs to be lit appropriately. A good desk lamp and a stylish floor lamp will do nicely.
The last thing you want is to be staring at empty wall space for hours each day. Invest in some art that you like and hang it up throughout the space.
You’ll need storage for both your office supplies and your work documents. A bit of cabinet space will take care of your supplies, and a simple file cabinet allows you to organize your paperwork.
Overstock on office materials
Stock up on everything you might need in your day-to-day work. Items like Post-Its, tabs, stickers, stapler, hole puncher, calculator, calendar, pens, markers, highlighters, envelopes and stamps all need to be within your reach.
You’ll want to protect the electronics in your office. Be sure that you have everything connected to a surge protector.
A good printer and scanner is a critical part of your communication with the main office. There will be things you need to print and sign and send back to clients or co-workers. Be prepared for this by having a good printer/scanner combo.
By following the steps laid out above, you’ll be able to create a customized workspace that you’ll want to spend time in. Additionally, you’ll have everything that you need in order to be a productive employee.
What have your experiences been with a home office?
Both temporary and permanent workers can contribute significantly to your business. However, the two do offer different advantages and are best used in certain situations. Below we outline the factors that need you need to consider when deciding how to grow your team.
Training for both temporary and permanent workers can be time consuming and costly. However, if your business is shuffling through a lot of temporary workers, this training time and cost can add up quickly.
How many hours need to be invested in work each week? If it’s less than 20 hours a week you might be better off with a temporary worker or you could incorporate the tasks into the job description for a permanent employee.
Project-Based or Ongoing?
Is your need project-based or ongoing? Temporary workers excel at project-based work. However, if a work task is ongoing and requires enough of a time investment you may be better off with a permanent employee.
Temporary workers have the advantage here because you can hire special skills and expertise for your company’s short-term needs.
Flexibility and Focus
Temporary workers provide great flexibility but may lack focus. Permanent employees can focus deeply but limit your flexibility.
Temporary employees may also work for other employers, so their time and energy may not be solely dedicated to your projects. Permanent employees may feel that their work is redundant and look for a change. If the job does not provide enough work to keep permanent employees busy and it leads to reduced working hours, it will be hard to retain employees in need of full-time work.
It is usually more cost effective to hire a temp from a financial perspective once you take into consideration benefits such as a 401K and PTO. However, the hourly pay rate for temporary hires is typically more expensive than permanent employees.
What does your future look like? A good relationship can be developed with a temporary candidate for future staffing opportunities. However, a temporary employee may leave a job for a full-time position or higher paid opportunity. Permanent employees can develop long-term friendships with colleagues in a team-oriented environment, contributing to the success of the company.
What’s your next big project? Is it a better fit for a temporary or permanent worker?
In Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock shares insights and anecdotes from his tenure at Google. Bock is currently the head of Google’s People Operations department. He shares his philosophy on work and provides a blueprint for attracting the best talent in your business.
Lou Adler probably knows more about hiring right than anyone else in the country. In Hire With Your Head, Adler shares his performance-based hiring system with you. This system is not for the weak of heart. It’s extremely complex, but takes all of the guesswork out of hiring. It will all but guarantee that you are hiring the very best.
In Who Geoff Smart and Randy Street provide a simple and effective solution to one of the biggest challenges in the business world today: unsuccessful hiring. Smart and Street conducted the largest research study of its kind in order to arrive at their hiring insights. They interviewed over 325 business leaders to find out exactly where our current hiring methods were failing.
Victoria Hoevemeyer’s High-Impact Interview Questions is a must have book for preparing an interview. The book contains over 700 behavior-based interview questions. These questions are designed to draw out the real-life behaviors and attributes of your interviewee. Every hiring manager needs this book on his or her desk.
In Hiring Smart, Pierre Mornell draws from decades of research to put forth 45 strategies for reading interviewees, observing their behaviors, and predicting what they’ll be like in the workplace. Mornell’s methods are simpler than those laid out in Hire With Your Head and Who, but are quite effective.
Joanne Sujansky and Jan Ferri-Reed wrote Keeping the Millennials in order to help companies better understand their younger employees. If you’re concerned with utilizing and keeping your millennial talent, this book is a great place to start.
Mark Murphy teaches you how to recognize one of the most important elements in the hiring process: attitude. Murphy stresses that it should be your number one focus during the hiring process. Attitude is what separates the good businesses from the great ones. Murphy includes some great case studies from Southwest Airlines and Google.
A proud member of PPAI
Chesterfield, MO 63005