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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Integrating contingent workers into company culture

Temporary staffing is on the rise, thanks to the ability it gives companies to adjust their workforce based on business needs. In fact, it’s likely that the regular use of contingent workers, instead of full-time employees, will become a permanent practice in many organizations.

But, as more businesses start to rely increasingly on temporary workers, they also face new, complex challenges: integrating these employees into their culture and ensuring they’re as engaged as full-time staffers. It’s a tall order since it's much more difficult to create a strong bond with contingent workers.

To that end, companies need to decide just how tightly they should integrate contingent workers into the organizational culture. While one business might feel these employees should be considered to be a true extension of the organization, another might look on them, in effect, as appendages. But each approach requires a different approach. The former company, for example, might include temporary workers in all organization-wide events – company picnics, holiday parties and the like – while the latter would probably refrain from doing so.

Organizations that make the use of contingent workers an important part of their workforce strategy and take appropriate steps to integrate them into the culture will find a significant payoff: a reliable talent pool to draw from – with demonstrated skills and fit – when hiring opportunities arise; as well as an engaged, loyal temporary workforce and, ultimately, stepped up levels of organizational performance.

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