Temporary workers are often given little information about the length of their assignments, how much they’d be paid, or who they will be reporting to. Many temp employees have even claimed to be subjected to racial harassment by other employees. These included inappropriate drawings and racial slurs. Temporary works have long felt that they’re treated as second-class citizens in most workplaces.
However, the issue may become more urgent as a combination of full-time and temporary workers becomes more common across the business landscape. It is crucial for temporary staffing agencies to be well versed in common issues and complaints within the world of temporary hires.
Where Issues Reside
All too often companies lack established management policies or practices for them. Contingent workers need support, guidance and performance measures if an employer wants to optimize the mix. Companies should adopt the outlook that they have a basic responsibility to all of the people who come to work at their facilities each day—regardless of whether or not they’re full-time employees. With potential legal liability, it is best practice to ensure that all workers undergo a basic orientation on issues such as discrimination and harassment, undergo safety training and are included in vital communications.
Another issue relates to a sense of inclusion, or lack thereof, that many help temporary workers feel better about their jobs and possibly even improve their performance. Making sure these workers are included in things like coffee breaks and celebratory lunches won’t change their legal status and costs relatively little, and can go a long way in helping them feel like they’re a part of the team.
It is important for companies to give all employees a sense of “psychological safety” to make them feel more comfortable sharing their ideas and bringing issues to the attention of management. By simply acknowledging and calling attention to a worker’s concerns, managers can help them feel that their input is valued. HR should encourage managers to practice this so-called “amplification technique” and then keep workers in the loop as to the status of efforts to address the problem.
By the same token, managers who fail to acknowledge workers will lessen the likelihood that important issues will be brought to their attention. Workers may decide they don’t wish to contribute if there’s no psychological safety present.
Literal safety is also important and can especially be a risk for temps. Temp workers—particularly at companies that have temp-to-perm hiring programs—are often eager to prove themselves. This eagerness can sometimes lead them to take on or assist with tasks they haven’t been properly trained on, and the results can be dangerous. Many companies fail to provide adequate safety-training to temporary workers. Temporary staffing agencies can be a part of spreading the message that a safety hazard is a safety hazard—it doesn’t acknowledge differences in worker classification.
About World Wide Specialty Programs
For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.