Staffing Employee Week – September 18-24 – is the perfect time to acknowledge the contributions contingent workers make to your organization. We all want to feel that we matter. This need is just as real for temporary employees as it is for traditional employees.
Here are a couple ways to show your appreciation for their valuable contributions to your team
- Consider holding a special party for contingent workers who work from home and work off-hours. Hold it at an hour when all can attend. It doesn’t need to be extravagant. It’s the thought that will be appreciated.
- Offer gift certificates to local coffee shops, gas cards, gift baskets of snacks, gift cards to specific stores (e.g. hardware stores, book stores, grocery stores, depending on the situation). Be sure to accompany any gift with a heartfelt thank-you card. Include a line or two of your appreciation for their help; let them know they are a part of the corporate family.
Of course, showing recognition to your valued workers goes beyond one week of the year. To create a productive workforce, you must continually show your employees – including (and especially) contingent workers – that they are important team members. Here are a few reminders for you:
- Be impartial and open-minded. Treat contingent workers fairly and equitably. They and traditional employees will see the same rules apply to everyone regardless of status.
- Acknowledge the employee’s presence. A plain old “How are you today?” or “Have a good day” shows that you are aware of the employee’s existence and validates them.
- Devote your full attention when speaking with the employee. Listen closely and notice body language if face-to-face. Practice active listening.
- Be sure the employee knows that you are available to them for questions and clarification.
- Use the employee’s name. We all feel confirmed as valuable when someone takes the effort to remember who we are, by name.
- Give credit where credit is due. Acknowledging an employee’s efforts and successes is critical to valuing them. Plus, they will see it as making you more trustworthy.
- Make a point to know some details about the employee. Share a comment about their hobbies, their work, their family, etc. If you hear of an upcoming graduation or anniversary date, congratulate them.
Beyond Staffing Employee Week
Interacting with employees in a respectful manner every day benefits your bottom line. Welcome input from all workers. Be sure that your team continues to include contingent workers in staff meetings and team discussions. Also, be sure to give contingent workers access to resources they need as employees. Consider assigning them a mentor so they can feel more confident in their work assignments.
Encouraging contingent workers to take initiative provides them a sense of ownership. Today’s temporary worker may reveal himself to be an invaluable resource and worth hiring full-time later on. The technical worker who returns time and again for projects will be more knowledgeable and prepared as she continues the work assigned to her.
Contingent workers can offer your team fresh insights and bring innovative ideas. Regard contingent workers as part of your productive team, and they will behave as such. Treat people the way you want them to act. An inclusive, collaborative environment sparks creativity.
The power of receiving a “thank you” can’t be overestimated. In the same way that we all want to feel that we’re part of a tribe, we all want sincere recognition for our efforts at work.