businessman signing contractAccording to the infographic “The Status of Temp Staffing” by Headcount Management, the need for temporary workers increased by 65.7 percent this year. And with around 2 percent of our nation’s workforce being temporary workers, it’s important for higher ups to understand the differences in managing these types of workers.

Because temp workers are only contracted for a certain period of time, does this mean they don’t need as much attention, supervision or aid as permanent workers? Or that these types of workers shouldn’t be viewed (and treated) as part of the team and/or company? It’s obvious that permanent and temp workers are different in their role and duration with companies, but exactly how should management approach these differences? Well, Sandy Mazur, Spherion Division president, is able to answer these questions and more. had the opportunity to chat with Mazur, who was named on the 2012 “Staffing 100 List” by The Staffing Industry Analysts. Read on to discover her tips and insights for the differences between permanent and temporary workers in the workplace; what each group needs from their supervisors; and how temporary workers can strengthen their relationships with management.

1. What is the biggest difference between temporary and permanent workers in how these two groups relate to their supervisors?
The biggest difference between these worker groups and how they relate to their supervisors is the duration of the work relationship. Temporary workers only work at a company for a specified period of time, whether it’s two days or two months. But that doesn’t mean their contribution to the company is less than that of permanent workers. Regardless of how long a temporary worker has an assignment at a company, the quality of the relationship should not differ from that of their full-time colleagues.Sandy Mazur

2. What do temporary workers need from supervisors? How does this compare/contrast to what permanent workers need?
For temporary workers, having a strong relationship with a supervisor is extremely important. And, temporary workers need just as much training, guidance and recognition from their supervisors as their full-time counterparts. To meet this need, supervisors should cultivate relationships with quality in mind. This means providing training, guidance and recognition through sharing work standards, schedules and tools for temporary workers to get the job done successfully. Although companies differ on how they utilize and manage their temporary workforce, supervisors need to understand communicating best practices with temporary workers and establishing a healthy relationship from the beginning is the best way to help them, and the organization, achieve greater success.

3. What steps can supervisors take to strengthen their relationships with temporary workers?
Most employees inherently want to perform well and take pride in what they do. Supervisors should communicate to temporary workers how their work impacts the company’s goals. This can be as simple as sharing background on the company’s goals, vision and values and how their work falls in line with the company’s objectives. Supervisors should also give temporary workers the resources they need to achieve their job successfully and efficiently, whether it’s access to a certain system or a “best practices” guidebook.

Supervisors should also provide continuous feedback to temporary workers on their work, whether it is sharing insights on ways they can improve their work or letting them know they are doing a good job. While temporary workers may not be there forever, they still need the same type of encouragement and reassurance as permanent workers. Similarly, temporary workers will be more successful if the relationship with the supervisors is built on trust and respect.

Many of these steps can help foster an inclusive environment and strengthen the relationship between a supervisor and a temporary worker.

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