For most businesses, company culture is an important part of success. Often, the most satisfied employees are those who embrace and live by the ideals their employer stands behind. So why shouldn’t it be the same for temporary employees? While it might be more challenging to get contracted hires to embrace company culture, that doesn’t mean this powerful training tool should be overlooked.
As a starting point, it’s paramount to understand what company culture is since not every business has a strong framework. According to William Craig, founder and president of WebFX and Forbes contributor, company culture is, “…something that is pre-existing in your company’s genetic code; it’s not something that employees bring with them.” With that said, it’s easy to see why the vision, values, norms, systems, language, beliefs and habits of your business need to be well defined and used as a hiring beacon. Once your company culture is strong and clearly outlined, it’s crucial to enroll your perm, as well as your temp hires.
To that end, here are five ways to help temp employees to embrace company culture:
- Train equally: a temp hire shouldn’t get the short end of the training stick. Respect the time they are dedicating to their new role and train them accordingly, especially where culture is concerned. The sooner they understand and value company beliefs, the easier it is for them to live and operate according to the vision.
- Enroll your permanent employees and encourage them to set the cultural tone: Looping in every department about any new temp hires, as well as setting the ground rules for your existing teams to lead by example is a great way to set the groundwork for a successful integration. Temp employees will feel respected and in-the-know, while your long-term employees will understand the importance of sharing the culture of the company.
- Introduce contract employees to the staff and avoid labeling them as “temp”: everyone wants to feel respected and like an equal member of the team. While it might seem insignificant, choosing the right language when introducing a contract hire can either get things going on the right foot, or start things off on a sour note. Consider saying, “Team, meet John [Jane] Smith. We’re excited to have him [her] join us to help during the upcoming transition.” By carefully selecting your words, you have the power to frame the addition of a temp in a positive way.
- Establish expectations: as important as it is to set expectations for your perm employees, it’s equally as crucial to make sure temps understand what is expected of them on a day-to-day basis. Once they are clear on the culture, you can start observing whether or not they bring the right dynamic to their role and embrace the vision of the business. This will help determine if they will eventually make a positive, long-term addition.
- Recognize good work and positive contributions on a regular basis: this goes for all employees, whether they are perm or temp. Everyone deserves a pat on the back now and then for a job well done. For contract hires, consider taking this a step further if there is a chance for a permanent role to open up. If you’re confident that the individual is an ideal fit, take this opportunity to also have a conversation about their goals within the organization and how they feel things are going so far.
At the end of the day, whether you’re hiring a perm or temp employee, their education about company culture is important. If you want your temps to buy in and fully embrace the vision of the organization, it’s the responsibility of the management team to respect and enroll everyone equally.