Inhuman Temps

I was disturbed by a recent discussion with the HR Director of a telecommunications company I was working with.

I asked what their staff turnover was in their call-centre. “Only one last month,” he replied. The Training manager had intimated that the number was closer to 19.

“Are you sure? I was told that it was at least 17,” I queried.

“No, no, only one”, he grinned.

I later found out the discrepancy was due to only one PERMANENT staff member leaving.

What’s with our dehumanising of temps? Are temps lower than us consultants?

I have seen two trends of late: the above-mentioned slave-labour mentality, which basically hires temps as cheap, malleable labourers, with minimal benefits, or the “come-one, come-all” policy prevalent in State-run departments. In the latter case, the organisation loses a week’s productivity each month, as staff wonder about their future, actively seek full-time employment and so on. Also, the people are not necessarily well-sourced for the industry – they may merely be relatives of permanent staff.

Both of these scenarios display a desperate lack of understanding of how people function best, and how to maximise productivity per employee.

Come on, people! Engage those who are a fit for your industry and organisation, pay them amply and incentivise them to deliver beyond the current reality. Then watch them grow with you.

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