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Can you help this person? They have a problem with
Poor Employee Morale and need some advice.


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This is the original problem from an employee...
I'm currently working as temporary staff in an educational institution that makes extensive and long-term use of temps in various roles.

When I began the job, I received brief training on my specific role but very little in the way of familiarization with the wider organization or how it functions. This was fine and not unexpected, as I had worked in several similar roles previously and did not anticipate that the job would be ongoing.

I have now been in this 'temporary' role for several months, and while my core duties have not changed, several ancillary duties and responsibilities have recently been added to my role. For example, I am now required to provide regular cover for receptionist, marketing and complex customer service roles, despite having received no further training or information whatsoever.

My new responsibilities involve a broad range of complex issues which require specialist knowledge, and I am never able to provide adequate assistance to customers because of the total lack of appropriate training or supervision.

I am also often required to make decisions which have serious and far-reaching implications for the customers involved, despite having received only very brief training in this area and no additional financial compensation. My pay check is the same as staff who do not have this responsibility.

Because the organization makes such extensive and long-term use of 'temporary' staff, the vast majority of my colleagues are in a similar position. Many have been there far longer than I have, and yet they have received no training in these duties either, many of which are associated with completely different and unfamiliar departments. Employee morale is at an all-time low, as we are being increasingly instructed to take on new duties and responsibilities for which we have received no training or additional pay. Performing these new duties adequately is often difficult or impossible, which is leading to serious disaffection and lack of motivation among staff. In addition, the role for which I was originally hired (and am still expected to fulfil) is being constantly interrupted by the demands of my new administrative duties.

Does anybody know what the thinking behind this approach is? Is it simply poor management, or is there a specific management model behind it? On the face of it, it seems like these extra duties are being dumped on to existing staff simply to avoid the cost of hiring and training people to fill the roles we're now having to cover.

Why would this organization be making such extensive and long-term use of temporary staff in the first place? My understanding was that it isn't cost-effective, despite the benefits to management of having a virtually disposable workforce.

Does anyone have any advice on what our management is thinking here, or how best to address the issue? Is it simply the effect of poor management, or is there a more cynical and calculated agenda at work here? Any opinions or advice would be gratefully received.

Employee: anonymous
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