Over the last couple years, we have seen many organizations develop or expand Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) programs. While it is excellent to see so many businesses step up and do good work, we have noticed that there is often a glaring hole in their efforts: Temporary workers are often left out of DE&I plans.

One of the reasons for this is likely the fact that temp workers don’t typically count towards DE&I statistics. Even so, we would encourage you to include these workers in your plans as a holistic program will yield better results overall. 

Let’s explore this in more depth. 

Results of DE&I Programs

Before delving into the benefits of including temp workers in your DE&I plan, we should touch on the benefits of these programs at large. Besides the moral reasons to develop a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce, we know that there is a business case, as well.

Diversity helps teams to reduce groupthink and fosters innovation, as people bring their perspective and lived experience to the table. Diversity of experience leads to diversity of thought, which we know is good for businesses. 

The numbers back up this notion. A study from the Harvard Business Review says that diverse management teams yield operating margins 10% higher than less diverse teams. Another study from Boston Consulting Group found that these teams generate 19% more innovation revenue. 

Candidates are starting to catch on, too. About 75% of candidates consider a potential employer’s brand before applying for a role. A truly inclusive DE&I brand is likely to win you favor in their eyes.

The Right Reasons

Aside from the business and moral case for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive temporary workforce, there is another great reason to include temp workers in your program. It shows that you are sincere in your DE&I efforts. 

Including all of your employees in the plan, even if it isn’t reflected in stats, shows that you are working to become a truly inclusive business. To you, DE&I is not just a PR stunt. You truly value all employees and want to create a workforce — permanent and temporary — that reflects the real world. You also want to ensure that those employees feel safe, heard, and embraced in every facet of your company culture. 

True Inclusivity

About 40% of the American workforce is made of temporary workers. This means that if these employees are left out of DE&I plans, those plans exclude a good portion of the labor pool. That is rather counterintuitive when discussing inclusivity. 

The truth is that temporary workers are often left out of conversations like these. Company culture is often not extended to them due to the fact that they will not be in that position forever. However, most permanent employees are not truly “permanent” in the literal sense. Most people have various jobs throughout our life, and so will eventually move on from these “permanent” positions. 

Additionally, a recent study found that a higher percentage of contingent/temporary workers reported greater levels of equity than permanent workers. This creates an opportunity to learn from their experiences; What are they experiencing differently, and how can leadership expand best practices in this area? Management will only know by including these workers in DE&I conversations and programs.

Therefore, an organization gains so much by including temporary workers in company culture, and DE&I programs, while they are with the business. 

If you would like to further discuss this topic, or other ways you can improve your temporary work programs, please feel free to reach out to our team today.

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