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The Secret to Motivating Casual Employees

Businesses of any size depend on casual employment, and these workers make up around one fifth of the entire workforce. They often work long, irregular shifts and do the work no one else will do. While casual staff may not provide long-term certainty, they offer a number of advantages when included in your team and can help build a profitable enterprise. Here are the four factors we consider most important when it comes to getting the most out of your casual employees.

  1. Building a sense of community

The majority of casual employees stay with a business for less than a year, so it’s understandable that they may be inclined to feel disconnected with the work dynamic. They are often hired to meet seasonal demand and are well aware of the temporary nature of their employment, making it difficult to create a truly all-inclusive workplace; the social aspect of employment can exacerbate the issue and ostracise those who find it hard to remain engaged with the business and their peers.

Many of these issues can be linked back to the sense of community in a workplace: if a casual employee doesn’t feel invested in the business it’s likely to impact on their performance. Making an effort to unify your staff through meetings, functions and other team-based activities is a great way to encourage mingling and build a sense of worth in both your casual and full time employees.

  1. Mutual understanding

Every employee is different from the next, and understanding the strengths of each individual in your team will offer numerous benefits to everyone involved. As an employer, you should always be looking to intellectually engage your staff and, as a result, help them develop their skills. This both improves the efficiency of your business and boosts your employee’s sense of fulfilment: recent studies have supported the argument that autonomy, or self-sufficiency, is one of the strongest sources of motivation in all facets of life. Ensure your casual employees can achieve goals independently by considering which role they are best suited to and you’ll soon see improvement in performance and job satisfaction.

  1. Providing incentive

Incentives are a powerful way to encourage high performance. Casuals may be motivated by higher pay, but it can become meaningless if work is a dull and unrewarding affair. Get to know your employees as individuals and try to understand what gives them motivation at work—you may decide to implement reward systems or give them responsibility outside of their normal role in order to boost quality of work in anticipation of an incentive.

  1. Improving perception of job security

Due to the nature of casual employment, it’s a given that flexibility is more applicable than security. That said, being able to give your casual staff whatever security you can will help ease uncertainty and allow them to feel more valued in the workplace. While you still need to value the needs of your business, it could be as simple as making sure casual staff know how long they are expected to stay, what shifts they will have ahead of time and that you are looking out for their best interests. Don’t undervalue the importance of morale and trust between you and your employees—a little bit of respect can go a long way.


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