A former middle manager accustomed to working with RDH temps learned a surprising – and important — lesson from one of them. That lesson? All team members – no matter their employment status – are a valuable part of the team and deserve to be welcomed, included, and treated with respect.
Many managers and their full-time employees approach temporary workers in general and RDH temps in particular with an attitude of indifference. After all, they won’t be there for long. And that contributes to an ugly stereotype that temporary workers are somehow less interested, less committed, less skilled, and therefore less valuable than traditional, full-time employees.
When that temporary worker expressed that they were expected to perform even though they were excluded from company communication and training, the manager was stunned. After all, how can RDH temps get up to speed and fill the company’s critical need if they’re considered a lesser part of the team?
That middle manager realized that every team member brings unique skills, talents, and insights to the company – no matter what their employment status.
Instead of reinforcing the stereotype about RDH temps, and perpetuating the rift between temporary, part-time, and permanent employees, it’s important to create a more inclusive culture at your company. All employees should be welcomed and on-boarded as valuable to the team, no matter how long they work for you.
How to Create a More Inclusive Company Culture
Given the rise of the gig economy and the freedom and flexibility it represents to RDH temps, savvy healthcare organizations recognize the need to treat everyone well regardless of status. Because many RDH temps work for several companies, any negative experience at a particular company can become common knowledge very quickly, resulting in serious consequences on the company’s recruitment and retention strategies.
For example, if RDH temps feel unwelcome or undervalued and that information spreads among their network, talented people might be reluctant to accept work in your company. And according to the “North American Temporary Worker Survey 2017,” conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts, 31% of temporary workers will leave a contract early if they receive a better offer. RDH temps who leave early because they don’t feel welcome, included, or valuable will cost your organization time and money to replace them.
To take full advantage of the talent and skill of RDH temps, here are five strategies to demonstrate they’re an equal part of your team:
1. Examine your company’s organizational structure.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47% of the American workforce will be actively participating in the gig economy by 2020. With the rise of the gig economy, companies need to rethink their organizational structure and make design changes to accommodate this trend and remain competitive.
As more and more RDHs seek gig work, your company will more likely benefit from the cost-saving choice a temporary worker offers over a full-time, permanent employee. Examine the ways that different jobs intersect within your organization, and get creative about outsourcing, consolidating, and streamlining your workflow.
2. Design an inclusive workforce management strategy.
Given that within the next few years freelancers, contractors, and consultants who work by the project will make up such a large part of the workforce, your organization is going to need to design a workforce management strategy that embraces them.
Work with your HR consultant and management team to design and implement a total workforce management strategy. Include plans for onboarding, communicating with, and integrating RDH temps into your company culture.
Educate and train your managers and core employees about why inclusion matters to all employees, and make sure they’re aligned with your new management strategy.
3. Formalize and welcome employee feedback.
Design a formal structure for soliciting and responding to employee feedback, and use the information to determine the “state of the union” at your company. It’s best to use an independent third party to conduct the survey to solicit honest responses and avoid any fears of retribution employees may feel if they volunteer negative feedback.
Include a rating scale to get a feel for how well collaboration and rapport is working between your core employees and RDH temps. Use open-ended questions to ask for specific feedback and suggestions about your management strategy.
If you conduct formal feedback sessions regularly (every quarter, biannually, or annually), you’ll be able to chart your progress and make any corrections needed.
4. Lead by example.
Be sure to onboard RDH temps the same way you onboard any other core employees and include them in team meetings, communications, and training opportunities. Offer them a company email address and a workspace equal to others.
And little things mean a lot. Include them in social events, volunteer activities, happy hours, or parties so they do not feel isolated or less valued.
When your team sees supervisors, managers, and executives treating RDH temps with respect, they’ll be more likely to do the same.
5. Regularly review social media and employer rating sites.
It’s not uncommon for RDH temps who are dissatisfied with a job experience to air their opinions on Facebook or review sites like Glassdoor. With over 32 million reviews and over 45 million unique visits per month, Glassdoor has a tremendous reach.
While an occasional bad review might not adversely affect your reputation as an employer, it can sting. Several negative reviews, however, can illustrate a trend. Rather than take it personally or respond with defensiveness, use any negative feedback from RDH temps as an opportunity to reexamine your management style and processes, and understand and correct any issues you might discover.
These five tips can help you strengthen your relationships with RDH temps and enhance your reputation as a forward-thinking, great place to work. All team members need to feel valued if you expect them to contribute their best. Work to bridge the gap between traditional and non-traditional employees by actively recognizing and reinforcing that everyone has something of value to contribute.
When you’re ready to expand your talent pool to include pre-vetted, well-qualified RDH temps, contact us.
We’re Stynt, the largest and fastest-growing online platform for matching healthcare organizations like yours with the talent they’re seeing.