At this writing the labor market is tight. Businesses are struggling to stay fully staffed. It’s a challenge and we get it! Often times it feels like you are filling positions with temporary help only to refill them later. Whether the employee quits reporting or isn’t performing the job duties up to satisfaction, dealing with employee turnover is not fun.
We have been helping businesses with their temporary workforce for over 20 years and offer you the following three suggestions for reducing turnover and increasing the productivity of supplemental employees.
1. Pay the going rate
Too many business make the mistake of paying less that the current market pay rate for workers sent by a staffing service. Since they are paying the mark up on the pay rate, they want to keep costs as low as possible. They justify this strategy by reasoning that they will pay the employee a higher pay rate once they hire them onto the company’s payroll. This strategy usually backfires, because employees will be quick to leave for higher paying jobs, especially in the current economy, since they are so plentiful. CSS advises that you consult with your staffing firm about pay rates. They are placing employees in your market everyday and will have a pulse on the going rate.
2. Clearly communicate your expectations
First make sure your staffing firm has a solid understanding of your labor needs, detailed job descriptions, job requirements, dress code, cell phone policy, etc. The more information you can provide them, the more it helps the staffing agency narrow its search and properly orientate and set expectations of the employees.
Second, you also need to communicate your expectations clearly with the temporary worker. Investing a few minutes of your time with the new temp employee or employees will result in a more informed and productive work force. Explain the job duties and how it relates to the rest of the work performed by your business. Introduce them to supervisors and other employees. Discuss when and where to take breaks, cell phone usage and safety.
3. Treat the temporary employee as part of the team
One of the most frustrating causes of turnover that we see is when a client treats the temporary employees as second class citizens. The majority of people who seek work through a temporary agency are hard working folks who are trying to support their families just like the rest of the workforce. Talking down to them or demeaning them because they are “just a temp” will not motivate them to work harder at their job and it creates low moral. On the flip side, when you treat the temporary worker as a valuable part of the team, they are more likely be at work on time every day and do a great job. If you expect courtesy and respect, you have to be willing to show it as well.
Bottom line, when employees, whether temporary or permanent, are paid well, they understand what is expected of them, and they are valued for the work they perform, then you can expect less turnover and increased productivity. By setting the stage for your workforce in such a manner, you could potentially save your company thousand of dollars in labor costs.