What Do “Temps” Mean to Your Organization?

Part of your job (probably one of the most significant parts of your job) as a company leader is to be an emotional anchor. You, plus some other key company leaders, ARE the culture. You are aware of how you’re seen by others. It’s not about ego or vanity, it’s about LEADING. You choose your words carefully because you know words matter. Those whose corporate boxes are a row or two under yours also watch your vibe. They can turn your words into productivity turbo chargers or a complete motivational buzz-kill. You work hard to project a positive, nurturing, employee-friendly tone.

Here’s a word worth thinking about: Temp. What does this word mean to the workgroup provided by your staffing partner? What does it mean to the supervisors? Most of our customers selectively hire the best employees from the temporary group, using our employees as a farm team. Over time the company’s core staff is almost entirely TalentTeam alumni. We try to create an environment that says “you can be a permanent part of this great company”. The path is simple, just make yourself a star with your work, your attitude, and your commitment. How does the word “temp” fit this strategy? Turbo charge or buzz-kill? Encouraging and supportive or demeaning and degrading?

Do you enhance and improve your core staff by adding the very best workers from your contingent group? Do you have an intake strategy that identifies, selects, nurtures, motivates and attracts the very best? Does the “temp” group feel like the farm team, trying to make the big leagues? Do they aspire to be a part of your company “family”? Or do your words and tactics tell them they are disposable and unimportant? How does the new employee feel when the supervisor says “you must be one of the temps”? They come to you excited about finding a great job and walk off at lunchtime to go home and re-watch the Red Wedding.

A carefully developed and executed intake strategy can protect your organization from co-employment issues while still identifying, embracing and capturing the very best talent. A good starting point: Banish “temp” from your HR lexicon. Allow your supervisory group to see the new employees for what they are, the future of your company’s profitable operation. Maybe it can all start with a simple idea: Words matter.

Steve Pluim

Steve Pluim is the president of TalentTeam, a Salt Lake City based staffing and recruiting firm.

Steve can be reached by email at [email protected]

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