How to manage hourly workers

Written by Caitlin Williams

With more and more employees choosing to work and be paid via a more flexible working arrangement, such as temping or contract work, managers can find themselves struggling to manage hourly workers.

In some cases, turnover can be high for these workers due to perceived instability. They may find a job that will take them on full time with a salary, which is perceived to be more stable and financially secure than a short term temp job.

Of course, this can create a logistical nightmare for businesses, as well as have potential financial impacts.

It’s worth remembering that employees who choose to take on temp work and be paid by the hour have a different personality and perspective than those in full time, salaried roles.

Talk to your employees

It sounds obvious, but it can so easily be overlooked. Meet with your employees, discuss their work, but also discuss their hours. Are they working enough? Are they working too much? Does their schedule need to change to suit their/your requirements?


It can be easy for businesses to undertrain temp staff, because they know they may move on sooner rather than later. Interestingly, providing full training can actually result in lower turnover – staff feel more valued, because the company has invested in them, meaning they are more likely to stay and remain loyal.

Staff development 

Allow temp, hourly staff to work with permanent, full time staff where possible. Both will benefit from learning about different perspectives, different skills, and different experiences.

Include them

If you have regular staff meetings, make sure the temp staff are included. They’re working in your office, they’re completing your work – they should be in your meetings (where appropriate). Include them in long term discussions, include them in social activities – let them feel like they are part of the bigger picture.

Offer opportunity

This one depends on your business of course, but if you have a fantastic temp and you’ve got the budget/resources/space … why not look at taking them on in a more permanent capacity? It doesn’t have to be full time, perhaps it’s just a permanent part-time role … but it will show them that you value them, and their experience. It’s a win for you as well – you’re hiring someone who already knows the job and doesn’t need any additional training!

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