In the Mission: Impossible TV episodes, there were many times when the mission required the Team to simulate a large political reception…or a fully manned submarine… or a fully staffed hospital. There is just no way that the 4 or 5 people who were part of the "main team" were going to pull this off. When this happened, Mr. Phelps turned to outside repertory companies to help him fill the temporary staffing needs he had. These people were critical to the success of the mission even if they were not named members of the Team. The failure of these people to do their job well could have easily led to the failure of the mission as a whole. Because of this, Mr. Phelps, I’m sure, went out of his way to let these people know they were valued and key parts of the overall success plan.
They were, in effect, temp workers. Contractors. Part-timers from a staffing agency. Yet, it seems obvious to us that Phelps would have been foolish to treat them poorly because, even though they had no major part in the mission (such as a speaking part), they could easily cause the mission to fail should they be any less than perfect in what they were doing.
Is this really any different than the temps, contractors and part timers that we employ routinely today at our companies? Obviously we need the temps working for us to be just as perfect in their jobs so that our “missions” are equally successful! If you treat temps like they are expendable, isn’t it likely that they will not be working to the peak of their ability and will, in all likelihood, develop a bad attitude that will be noticed by a customer (who will have no idea that this is “only a temp”.) We must find ways to remind them that they are part of our Team.
How do we do this? In my past, I have worked for chemical plants that made a point of telling the 15-20 contract workers that worked for them that they were NOT invited to the company picnic because “they were just contract workers”. Did the money this plant saved on a few hot dogs and glasses of iced tea really make up for the markedly depressed enthusiasm these workers felt at such a slight? Hardly! At my utility company, we make a point of inviting everyone who works for or with us to every function we hold…lunches, holiday get-togethers, awards dinners…everything!
Treat everyone on your team like they are, in fact, on your Team… BECAUSE THEY ARE!
ACTION: What are YOU willing to do to ensure that the temps and part-timers working for you do not cause your mission to fail? (And “firing them after they have allowed your mission to fail” is not really a viable answer.) How can you make each one of them feel needed and vital. Finding the answer to this question can determine the success of your entire mission!