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4 ways to motivate temporary workers

Posted on April 15th, 2015 Read time: 2 minutes

The question of how to motivate workers is important to the overall performance of a company. Just like full-time staff, seasonal employees need motivation. Here are some tips on how to maintain a high level of satisfaction and keep employees engaged at work:

  1. Don't do training all at once
    In an interview with Forbes contributor Kevin Kruse, Matt Heller, the author of the book "The Myth of Employee Burnout: What It Is. Why It Happens. What To Do About It," discussed the tendency of employers to front-load training for seasonal employees. In reality, Heller said, that is not a good idea, as it increases boredom, and employees are not likely to remember all the material.

    "A better system is to provide training in small nuggets," he explained. "This way the material sticks better, and they have a chance to actually put it into practice."

  2. Reevaluate reward systems
    It's just as crucial to reward temporary workers as it is to do so with their permanent counterparts. Employers should reconsider the current reward systems in place and revise them to accommodate temps. In addition, Heller noted that it's integral to thank employees personally to maintain engagement and motivation.

    "Recognizing them as a person and as a human being with thoughts, feelings, aspirations and fears allows you to make a connection with that person that builds trust and respect," he said.

  3. Communicate long-term job potential
    Temporary workers are often concerned with the direction their job will take after their contracted time has passed. If an employee feels that there is no potential to turn their temporary job into a permanent position, they may experience a lack of motivation. Communicating about the long-term job potential gives the employee a goal and can improve performance.
  4. Treat employees with respect​
    For seasonal workers to feel more engaged at work and thus be more motivated, it is important to include them in any company-related matters that permanent employees take part in. The Houston Chronicle reported that regular staff activities like meetings and after-hours group activities can be good times to include temps and make them feel like part of the team. Writing for HRZone, Matthew Brown stated it's important to include contract workers in conversations about company performance and to listen to their suggestions.

    "Not only are they (temporary workers) able to provide valuable insight into business strategies, but it will also ensure they are driving projects and assignments in the right direction," he wrote.

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