How to Help Your Temporary Employee Navigate Office Politics
When it comes to navigating the rough seas that are office politics, it often takes time to get things right, avoiding the pitfalls and mastering the lingo. For temporary employees, this landscape can be especially treacherous. They are dropped into what amounts to a foreign country with little knowledge of the landscape, social rules and pecking order. There are ways that you can help a temp navigate office politics.
Introduce Them to the Right People
As you would with a new full time employee, make it a point to introduce a temp to key people within your organization. These shouldn’t just be the individuals who they would be working directly with – they should also be the individuals who can help provide guidance or support as needed. By connecting a temp with these individuals, you give them resources to turn to should they run into a social roadblock.
Assign Them a Buddy
There is no way that the new temporary employee will understand everything in their first day on the job. They may have trouble operating the phone system, locating an extension or using the computer system. They may not be aware of which employees want to have calls screened and which prefer direct transfers. They may not know that the boss doesn’t like to be greeted when he or she enters the office, or that the accounting director prefers phone calls to emails. By assigning them a buddy, you will give them a guide that will help them to learn how relationships are managed within the office.
Encourage Them to Socialize
Just because a temp may not be with you for the long haul, it doesn’t mean that they can’t build relationships while they are with you. Make it a point to encourage the temp worker to socialize with the team and vice versa. This will help the temp to build relationships and trust, resulting in increased productivity.
Of course, office politics aren’t everything. If you want them to be effective, you also have to make sure that a temp isn’t struggling with their basic responsibilities as well.
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