How to Manage a Contract Employee

Temporary workers offer obvious benefits. They provide additional flexibility for your organization, open a way to control costs and offer a potential pool of talent to draw on for future full-time hires.

That said, unlocking the full potential of contract employees can involve some finesse. Since their incentives and schedules are different from your full-timers, they pose some different managerial challengers.

How to Manage Contract Employees

Make Them Feel Like Part of the Team

Sometimes it’s hard to integrate temporary workers into the culture of a company. As their title of “temp” implies, they are often in your office for only a short time. Their schedules can be unconventional, and they often move from project to project.

However, if you want to get the most out of your temp employees, it helps to make them feel like they are part of something bigger. Do what you can to make them feel like part of the team. Include them in meetings and take steps to present a welcoming atmosphere.

With a small effort in this direction, you’ll get more out of them on a day-to-day basis. Also, it will encourage the best workers to come back for future projects, or even to graduate to full-time status down the road.

Keep Communication Open

Temporary employees often feel outside the normal lines of communication. They don’t know what’s going on in company, making it difficult for them to see anything beyond the task in front of them.

Let your temps take these blinders off. Communicate the company’s broader goals with them. Let them know how their work plays into the broader structure. This will help them feel like more of a team member.

Also, provide feedback about how the temp is doing and how they might progress with the company. This will help them improve over time and fit into the general corporate structure better. It might also give them incentive to put in extra effort, as they develop a feel for the company.

Organize Their Efforts

When you babysit a small child, you need to have new activities for them every 15-20 minutes: games, coloring books, smartphone apps, etc. You don’t want managing your temp employees to feel like watching a six year old.

If this happens, it is rarely the worker’s fault. When a temp has to come to you several times a day and ask, “What do you need me to work on now?” something is wrong with the management structure.

Ideally, long-term temp workers will be integrated into the daily routine. They will know what to do as they come in each day and will have tasks scheduled to fill their time.

If you have people in for a short-term assignment, make sure they know their overall purpose and any subsequent steps that might come up. Provide enough training that you feel comfortable leaving them on their own. It might take a little extra time at the start but will save time down the line.

Also, look for ways to delegate management to regular staff members. You don’t need to be there to answer every question. Let trusted lower-level employees guide the temp through the details.

And remember: Managing temps gets easier when you know you are bringing in the best workers. A trusted staffing partner can make that part easier. Industry leader LaborMax can help you maximize your efforts by providing top-flight temporary talent to complete any project. Contact us today for more information about our temporary staffing services.