Professional Jeweler Archive: 'Temps' Make Reveal What Full-Time Workers Won't

November 2000


'Temps' Make Reveal What Full-Time Workers Won't

Take advantage of the vantage point of temporary workers

Looking for ways to boost morale, cut costs or increase performance? Regular employees – always eager to stay on the boss’ good side – may not be fully forthcoming, so consider quizzing your temps.

Temporary employees regularly move from company to company, so they see how many organizations work. Because they’re passing through, they have less reason to hide the bitter truth, says Office Team, a Menlo Park, CA, staffing company that recommends debriefing temps on their way out the door.

“The impressions temporary professionals receive can closely mirror those of new full-time hires, making them effective ‘barometers’ of employee morale,” says Diane Domeyer, executive director of Office Team. Domeyer recommends reviewing the following topics with temporary workers:

• Was orientation complete? Temps’ orientation is probably shorter than what new hires receive, but should cover such areas as introductions, a project goal summary and basic information on break policies, dress code and location of supplies. If your temps aren’t being filled in completely, maybe your full-timers aren’t either.

• Is the firm a good place to work? Temps who are impressed with a company are likely to recommend it to others. If they’re not impressed, wouldn’t you like to know why?

• Guidance and feedback. Being able to reach someone who can answer questions and offer input is critical to helping a temp get a job done correctly. It also indicates the job is of value. Ditto for full-time employees. Poor supervision and communication erode long-term morale and productivity.

• Improving procedures. Temporary staff and new employees bring a fresh perspective and may have ideas that could save money or enhance productivity. Asking people for feed-back shows that you do value their opinions.

– by Mark E. Dixon

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications