TEMP WORKERS NEED MOTIVATION TOO

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Temp employees don't need special attention, do they? Wrong!

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Here's a real life scenario that will rattle your peace of mind: One employer, a large insurance firm, hired a temporary worker to stuff 80,000 insurance certificates into envelopes. A short while later, the firm found thousands of the certificates junked in a freight elevator. It turns out the temp was bored working alone. She thought no one would notice if she cut her workload.

Most temporary workers aren't around your workplace long enough to be motivated by such traditional incentives as pay increases, promotions or company loyalty. You need to go the extra mile to spur these workers to do a good job. Here are some helpful hints:

Listen to temporary workers. Find out their needs, their preferred work environment and their work habits. After the incident mentioned above, the firm hired several temps to keep each other company. They seemed happier and the certificates -- every last one of them -- were mailed on time.

Educate temporary workers. You need to educate temps about your company culture and the work standards in your workplace.

Integrate temporary workers. When temps feel they're a part of your organization, they belong to a team which pulls together for a common goal. Encourage camaraderie by inviting temps to employee parties or asking them to join your softball team.

Link pay to performance. You hire temps to draft a report. Inform them that they will receive bonuses if the report is well-prepared and handed in by the target date of July 1.

Offer job references. A large number of temps want permanent jobs. Tell your temps that if they perform well, you will provide future employers with an excellent reference.

Provide opportunities for advancement. When job openings pop up at your firm, tell temps they will be considered for them. Make these jobs dependent on the temp's performance.