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Hiring temporary staff and on-demand workers is a great way to flex your workforce. You can adjust to seasonal trends, plug shortages in your rota, and optimize your staffing. When it comes to taking on new staff, you know that time is money. You need to prepare them for your workplace and get them up and running quickly.

Good training and orientation is better for your business, too. Well-informed, capable temporary workers will be more productive and perform more effectively. It’s worth investing a little time to enhance the return you get from the workforce.

Here are our hints and tips on new staff onboarding and orientation, designed to maximize the amount of productive hours you get from your on-demand workers.

Prepare Your Permanent Staff for On-Demand Workers

Before you bring in temporary workers, inform your permanent employees. Let them know what you expect and give them the right information and authority to guide and manage your on-demand workforce.

Identify permanent staff members who would be good advisors or mentors for your temporary workers and incentivize them to help out. Share expectations on how you want them to interact with new workers. Open communication with permanent staff will help them cooperate with on-demand employees.

Design On-Demand Staff Onboarding Around Legal and Compliance Needs

It’s likely that you will need to provide certain training to meet your safety requirements. For example, if they’re handling materials, they will need to know how to lift and move goods in a safe way. If they are preparing food, they will need hygiene training. They may have many of these skills and experiences already, but look through all of of your own compliance areas you need to meet and design training programs that teach the necessary skills in a fast and effective way.

Understand Any Additional Onboarding that Will be Needed

Think about exactly what you’re asking temporary workers to do. Look at duties, roles, and responsibilities, and design training materials to empower your temporary workers. Ensure that permanent employees get this training too, so they can provide the right advice and guidance.

You might also want to provide handbooks, guides, or online resources so that temporary workers can find answers without having to ask someone else. Develop individual training programs for each distinct temporary worker role you need to fill. It is helpful to make these guides available before the worker accepts the job or shows up for her first day.

Let Temporary Workers Know Who the Senior Staff Are

When temporary workers arrive and have been through their training, introduce them to the supervisors and managers who will be guiding and directing them. Let them know when it’s appropriate to get help from a supervisor and when they could go to a mentor or team member. Ensure they understand any escalation paths if they come across difficulties or issues.

Put Mentors in Place for Temporary Workers

Give your temporary workers a point of contact that they can go to if they have any questions or need coaching or support. This doesn’t have to be their supervisor, it could also be a permanent employee who has good interpersonal skills and who doesn’t mind helping others. Give the mentors time to develop their mentoring skills.

Give a Brief Tour of Your Workplace

Show temporary workers around the workplace, focussing on where they will be working. Point out emergency exits, break rooms, common areas, hazardous areas, first aid points, fire extinguishers, toilets, etc. Make sure you have good signage in place so that they can find their way around without having to ask anyone. Cover any shared office equipment they may need access to, like photocopiers or printers.

Issue Uniforms and Safety Equipment

If staff are going to be working in unusual conditions, hazardous circumstances, or potentially dangerous environments, make sure they have proper safety equipment and uniforms.

Explain Working Hours and Shift Patterns

Let your on-demand workers know when you expect them to be available, and what the start and end times are for their particular shift.

Arrange Temporary Logins, Systems Access, and Premises Passes

Getting logins and systems access for new staff can take time. Talk to your security team about creating temporary logins that your on-demand workers can use. Make sure that you have proper tracking, auditing, and passwords in place so these accounts can’t be compromised. If you have a secure location, make sure temporary workers are issued with pass cards and codes so they can access the workplace.

Customize Software to Make it Easy to Use

Complex applications and systems are like kryptonite to temporary workers! Work with your technology team to simplify software so that temporary workers only have access to what they absolutely need to do their jobs. Provide training to on-demand staff and permanent employees so they can provide assistance when needed.

Let Temporary Workers Know About Workplace Rules and Regulations

Every workplace has different rules. Be sure to cover all workplace regulations in onboarding and orientation, including:

  • Safety equipment, expectations, and training.
  • Dress code, personal appearance, and hygiene.
  • Computer usage and security.
  • Use of confidential company or customer information.
  • Security procedures and searches.
  • Morning, afternoon, and lunch breaks, including toilet breaks.
  • Food or materials handling procedures.
  • Handling of cash, checks, cards, and other financial information.
  • Personal device usage, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Using company computers for personal use like browsing the internet or social networks.
  • Policies around harassment, discrimination, or other workplace issues.

Be sure to cover off these rules in your staff handbook and give temporary workers access. You might also want to post important rules around the workplace.

Provide Secure Lockers for Temporary Workers

All staff need a secure place to keep their valuables. Issue them with lockers and keys that only they have access to. Explain what they can keep on their person and what will need to be kept in lockers during their shifts.

Encourage Supervisors to Check in With Temporary Workers

Once your on-demand workforce is up and running, ask your supervisors to check in a couple of times a day. They should encourage temporary staff to ask any questions and share their thoughts and concerns. This encourages open communications and can identify and resolve issues before they become a bigger problem.

If You’re Using Wonolo, Explain About the Review System

Wonolo lets you provide feedback on individual on-demand workers. Let them know about your expectations and what they might need to do to earn a top review.

Cover off these areas and you will have a powerful, effective onboarding and orientation program. Your temporary workers will be properly informed and engaged, which will maximize productivity and keep everything running smoothly.