7 tips for keeping your temporary workforce engaged

Melanie Bochmann
By Melanie Bochmann
3 min. read

In the dynamic landscape of today's economy, temporary workers play a crucial role in meeting the ever-changing demands of businesses. However, keeping these workers engaged can present unique challenges. Here are seven practical tips to foster engagement and ensure a positive and productive working relationship with your flexible workforce.

1. Transparency

Establish transparent communication from the outset. Providing workers with clear expectations, job responsibilities, and a solid understanding of the company culture will help them decide for the right job, which will avoid disappointment later on. Knowing exactly what to expect from the job, people will feel empowered and more engaged. For example, research by Slack shows that 87% of job seekers say they look for transparency in a future workplace.

2. Simplicity 

Providing temporary workers with easy and fast access to job opportunities, devoid of bureaucratic hurdles, is paramount. Streamlining the recruiting and day-to-day management processes through user-friendly applications eliminates unnecessary complexities. This ensures that temporary workers can swiftly navigate their roles without being encumbered by tedious administrative tasks. Adopting modern technologies not only enhances accessibility but also replaces outdated bureaucratic processes like hand-written time sheets, contributing to a more agile and responsive work environment. Simplifying the workflow not only empowers temporary workers to focus on their core responsibilities but also reinforces a positive and supportive organizational culture. Studies by Siegel+Gale (source: Forbes) even show that people have more trust in leadership, are more likely to recommend their employer, and show better retention rates when the workplace setup is simple and straightforward.

3. Onboarding excellence

A robust onboarding process will set flexible workers up for success. According to Bamboo HR, people who went through effective onboarding are up to 18x more commitment to their workplace. While temporary workers may have shorter tenures, a comprehensive onboarding experience ensures they quickly understand their roles, responsibilities, and the overall mission of the organization. Beyond work processes, onboarding establishes a sense of belonging, introduces company values, and facilitates building community within the organization. 

4. Recognition and appreciation

Recognize and appreciate the contributions of your temporary workforce. Acknowledge their hard work, celebrate milestones, and consider implementing a recognition program (e.g. “worker of the month”). Personalized expressions of gratitude, whether through a simple thank-you note, a shout-out in team meetings go a long way in making temporary workers feel valued and integral to the team. For instance, research by Gallup revealed that getting recognition at work makes people 20 times more committed .On top of that, opportunities for personal growth and professional development are part of showing appreciation and should be extended to the flexible workforce whenever possible. 

5. Inclusive work environment

In today's workplace, fostering an inclusive environment is essential for both permanent and temporary workers. Creating a setup where everyone feels integral to the team promotes unity and diversity, which also is fundamental for business success, as McKinsey found out in multiple studies. Simple yet effective measures, such as open communication channels and mentorship programs, ensure that temporary workers are not just acknowledged but actively included in the organizational culture. Leveraging technology for transparent communication and recognition further reinforces a sense of belonging. 

6. Feedback and communication 

Establish a feedback mechanism that allows temporary workers to share their thoughts and concerns. Regular check-ins and an open-door policy create an environment where they feel heard and supported - which will have a positive knock-on effect on their engagement as well, as research from Quantum Workplace shows: Regular feedback makes people twice as engaged and increases retention by 1.4 times. When working with staffing providers, the concept of onsite management can make a huge difference when engaging with your temporary workforce: By having a representative from the staffing company onsite that acts as the first point of contact for workers, these workers will feel much more appreciated and engaged, and in collaboration with your staffing partner, you can cater to their specific needs much more effectively. 

7. Flexibility and work-life balance

Recognize the importance of work-life balance for temporary workers. A recent study from the American Psychological Association found out that a majority of people are struggling with exactly that: About 33% lack sufficient control over the timing, location, and manner of their work, while a similar proportion (32%) feel they lack the flexibility needed to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, only 26% said that their employer respects their personal boundaries. Acknowledging and respecting the personal time of flexible workers fosters a positive relationship and contributes to overall job satisfaction.

Engaging temporary workers goes beyond the duration of their assignments. By implementing these tips, you not only enhance the experience for your flexible workforce but also contribute to a more productive and harmonious work environment for everyone.

Meet the contributor

Let’s talk about your goals