REC promotes agency worker engagement

Partnering with the Involvement and Participation Association (IPA), the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) have published a report regarding how employers should promote workplace engagement amongst temporary staff, by applying the same approach as they do with permanent employees.

The report, called ‘Tune into temps: how employers and recruiters can support agency worker voice in the workplace’ provides innovative recommendations about promoting employee voice and staff engagement.

To deliver business benefits such as a rise in productivity, reducing sickness absence and conflict, the following recommendations to employers have been revealed:

  • Ensure agency workers receive a proper induction
  • Foster relationships with agency workers by giving regular feedback, or even formal appraisals for those on longer assignments
  • Make sure agency workers are treated as part of the team when on assignment, receiving informal benefits like inclusion in staff activities and social events
  • Understand the motivations for someone working in a temporary way and place them in assignments that support their needs
  • Make sure workers feel comfortable about raising concern about a placement without fear of penalty
  • Ensure workers are supported with their professional development throughout their employment with access to training and placements that provide an opportunity to develop skills and progress

Kevin Green, REC chief executive, said: “It’s about treating people with respect and extending the same approach managers would take with permanent staff in terms of giving inductions, providing feedback and making sure temps feel welcome and included.”

Patrick Brione, head of policy and research at IPA, said: “Too often in the past regarded as ‘second class’ members of the workforce, agency workers and their hirers have sometimes missed out on the benefits of a highly engaged workforce. This report shows why this does not have to be the case.”

The report reveals that 1.2 million workers are placed into temporary/contract jobs every day, and agency workers are becoming a key part of the workforce, with the average length of assignment being 17 weeks.

According to the latest JobsOutlook by the REC, 45% of employers are expecting to face a shortage of suitable candidates over the next year. The report suggests that businesses may be turning to temporary workers to meet demand as permanent hiring becomes more difficult.

Flexible working is a great success story in the UK economy, and as employers strive to meet peaks in demand and access key skills in the short term, engaging the temporary workforce should be a business imperative.

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