Safety Culture and Behavioral Safety

Assimilating Temporary Employees into Safety Culture: 5 Keys to Success

Losing temporary employees prematurely is bound to create challenges tied to productivity, morale and the overall bottom line. So what drives majority of contract workers to leave an assignment early? Your safety and onboarding strategy, or lack thereof, may be a strong indicator.

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The key to assimilating and retaining a productive temp workforce is a strong safety strategy that outlines workplace expectations and protection of all employees, both permanent and temporary. Here are five ways to successfully assimilate your temporary workers into your organization’s safety culture:

  1. Choose the right staffing firm: Implementing a strong safety culture for your temporary workforce is not a process to take on alone. Employment agencies can help companies maintain a safe workplace by evaluating past performance while simultaneously recruiting the right candidates. Potential workers will be asked to go through a series of pre-screenings, which may include a drug test, background check and/or physical checkup to verify that they meet physical demands. Before selecting a staffing firm, host employers should check that the agency provides potential employees with general OSHA training, safety instructions, personal protective equipment requirements and company dress codes. Look for staffing agencies with third-party certifications and awards like the Safety Standard of Excellence Mark from the American Staffing Association or Inavero’s Best of Staffing award.
  2. Appoint an onboarding ambassador: Designating a mentor, or someone who can explain expected responsibilities to temporary workers, can be a great way to set the tone for how a team operates. A mentor can connect a contractor to existing employees, bringing those from different roles to the same, sound mindset. This organizational structure allows for leadership to address new employee concerns and hazards in a timely manager.
  3. Provide safety best practices: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regularly provides best practices for training in hazardous environments. It’s crucial to educate unfamiliar workers with updated policies and explain the potential mishaps that can occur if proper procedures are not carried out. While staffing agencies can equip temporary workers with a general safety guideline, it is up to you to inform how your company applies and customizes OSHA standards.
  4. Take employee input seriously: What better way to uncover safety gaps than by gaining insight from workers who are on the floor? Temporary and full-time employees can bring overlooked hazards to the attention of management through perception surveys, pre-shift meetings and employee reviews. By welcoming employees’ concerns, you are actively showing that you value employee participation when it comes to improving safety objectives and metrics.
  5. Establish trust: For a safety culture to thrive, employees need to know they are respected and can trust management to follow through on their promises. All employees should be approached in the same manner when it comes to safety protocol, regardless of permanent or temporary positions. Establishing trust and an even-playing field can help temporary workers feel in accordance with the rest of the team.

Despite the benefits of utilizing temporary talent, you will inevitably approach challenges. However, with a dedicated safety strategy you can get temporary workers fully adjusted, protected and integrated into your company culture.

Put your safety knowledge to the test! Take Randstad’s safety culture evaluation to see how strong your company’s safety culture is.

Author's nameHear more from Cory Berghoefer at BLR’s Safety Culture 2017 event at the Marriott Austin Downtown Convention Center in Austin, TX, September 11-12, 2017!


Register now.