Over half of companies in the UK are neglecting the needs of temporary staff within their organisations.

Research released today by the Adecco Group’s Unlocking Britain’s Potential initiative, reveals that 58% of companies don’t integrate their temporary staff into their organisations, leaving them feeling de-motivated and disengaged in their jobs.

The valuable contribution that temporary workers make to hundreds of thousands of businesses in the UK, particularly during the busy Christmas period, means that businesses disregard the welfare and happiness of these workers at their peril.

Chris Moore, Managing Director of Adecco Group Solutions, comments: “What businesses need to recognise is that this widespread neglect of temporary staff isn’t just something that affects the people themselves; it also has a really negative impact on the organisation and, ultimately, the bottom line. We’ve all had poor customer experiences when dealing with members of staff who are clearly not engaged in their work. The reality is that in many cases temporary workers are front-line, customer-facing staff, whether that be in person or over the phone, and therefore represent the face of the brand. So employers that don’t take steps to ensure that these staff are engaged and integrated into the culture and values of the company are taking huge risks.”

As the UK’s largest recruiter, Adecco Group is urging businesses, Government and educators to come together to agree how to tackle this issue at ‘Unlocking Britain’s Potential’, a high-level debate on 21 February 2012. The outcome of this will be a 10 Point ‘Unlocking Britain’s Potential’ Action Plan aimed at encouraging UK businesses and bodies to work together to address the issue.

The research uncovers a worrying attitude towards temporary workers, in which they are largely forgotten about by businesses and not integrated into the company’s culture. This includes not involving them in social activities, not providing them with training and development opportunities, not giving them the opportunity to feed back, or even not giving them equivalent access to technology such as email.

The survey revealed that three-quarters of employees believe that a sense of belonging, so that workers feel a part of the company’s values and objectives, is the key to bringing out the best in people.

According to the Unlocking Britain’s Potential initiative, businesses are continuing to see the advantages of employing agency workers as it allows them to be more flexible in an uncertain economic climate, enabling them to access expertise on a temporary basis and plan for seasonality or manage peaks and troughs in demand. This was a very strong trend during the 2009-10 recession and is expected to come to the fore again in 2012 in response to what is expected to be an incredibly challenging year for UK businesses.

Moore concludes: “Given the crucial role temporary workers have played in providing flexible support to businesses over the past few years, and will certainly continue to play next year, it is extremely short-sighted of businesses to overlook them when it comes to employee engagement initiatives. Temporary workers are extremely valuable to a huge number of employers and have much to offer in terms of their varied experience and specialist expertise, often providing the most up to date skills and a useful fresh perspective within an organisation.”

The Adecco Group research was conducted between July and September 2011, and involved quantitative research amongst 1,000 UK employees and 500 UK employers, and qualitative interviews with leading UK business figures from organisations such as Deloitte, Standard Chartered and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.