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Building Rapport Between Full-Time and Temporary Employees

Maybe you need a bit of extra help during your busiest season, or maybe you need to replace a departing employee but you haven’t yet settled on a full-time candidate. In either case, you’re about to welcome one, two, or several temporary workers into your office or onto your job site. What can you do to encourage positive relationships between these temporary newcomers and your regular full time staff?

Recognize the issue.

Too often, temporary employees are ignored by busy, distracted full time workers. Since temps won’t be staying for long, regular staff sometimes don’t even both to learn their names. And even if interactions are polite and civil, they tend not to blossom into genuine workplace friendships. In this atmosphere, full-time workers hesitate to trust temps with meaningful assignments and real responsibilities, which can defeat the purpose of their employment. Fostering trust can foster productivity.

Announce arrivals well in advance.

Long before your temps appear in the office, let your full time staff know who they are, what they’re going to do, and what they’re qualified to handle. Generate some excitement before the big day. Let your staff know about some of their personal details, backgrounds, hobbies and special accomplishments so they’ll have topics to talk about.

Make all expectations clear.

Every person in the office—both temps and full time staff—should know exactly what you’d like them to do. If you want one staff member to greet the temps when they arrive and show them around, make this known. If you want certain staff members to train certain temps to use your data management system, clarify who, what and when. Too often, temps don’t know exactly what they should be doing, and they turn to the nearest full time employee for guidance. Make sure they aren’t met with a shrug.

Insist on respectful treatment.

Hold your full-time staff to high standards regarding civility and manners. Expect nothing but the very best, friendliest, and most welcoming behavior, and that’s what you’ll get. Remind your staff that your culture is the pride of your workplace.

Make sure temps know where to turn with questions.

When temps need information, make sure help is available. Creating a respectful integration process means making sure your full-time teams aren’t constantly distracted and pulled away from their work by questions they can’t answer and requests they can’t accommodate.

Don’t worry if your temps don’t acclimate perfectly within the first five minutes. Most transitions are bit bumpy at first. But if you take steps to smooth the way, you’ll soon have two sets of productive, happy employees. Turn to the Cleveland County staffing experts at PSU for more guidance.

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