Believe it or not, your organisation needs to understand how to best engage and manage contingent workers if you want to optimise your relationship with them.
Yes, it’s true. Old school thinking about contingent workers looks something like this: contract starts, the worker commences, give them the brief, let them do their job, the contract ends.
… and that’s a total fail in today’s complex workplace.
Just like the permanent talent in your business, how you engage and manage contingent workers impacts their happiness, their performance and their willingness to go the extra mile for you. Don’t forget, these workers are people just like you, just like your permanent workers.
So today, I’ve put together the key strategies you can adopt right now, to better engage and manage your contingent workers.
And you know what will happen?
A more productive, higher output, happier, healthier workforce. A win-win all around.
Give them a stress-free experience: from the hiring process to offboarding, have a strategic plan in place for quality management of the entire contingent worker lifecycle. This will help you to re-attract the better contingent workers to your business in the future.
Make their first day memorable: and memorable in a good way. Have their technology ready to go, ensure access to working files, set-up team meetings and introductions. Give them a solid foundation from which to execute a successful contract.
Communication is key: in today’s COVID era, communication is more important than ever, with many workers based offsite. Get on the phone and Zoom to make contingent workers feel included, important and part of the team.
The importance of generationally tailored managerial styles is becoming clearer. Whilst Millennial Contingent Staff look for cohesive teams and goals-driven management, older Temps are looking to be challenged, rewarded and respected above all by senior staff members.
Establish clear goals and KPIs: leave no room for misinterpretation or expectations of the deliverables from their contract. In sync with point 3, communicating consistently and meaningfully will result in a fruitful, successful relationship for all.
Call in the experts: if your business doesn’t have the experience to manage contingent workers, outsourcing the management and processes pays huge dividends. Shameless plug alert: for example, by engaging a partner such as CXC.
Invest in technology: Vendor Management Systems offer full visibility, management and tracking of all contingent workers in your business. From contracts, expenses, compliance issues, timesheets, performance management and more, a VMS will prove invaluable.
Understand organisational risks and regulations. You need to make sure your whole organisation knows how to minimise the risks related to contingent workers. If regulations change, you need to make sure that your teams comply with those changes as well.
Contract renewals: with your KPI assessments and ongoing communications in place, you will be well-positioned to know when a contract is up for renewal. If the contractor is a success, do this early and in consultation with them. It’s a great engagement tactic.
Training pays off: if the contingent worker is proving to be a good fit, technically and culturally, is there any training you can provide, that isn’t available elsewhere? Give them a sense of reward and recognition, as well as adding value to their skills.
The balancing act: contingent workers seek independence and flexibility, as much as they seek inclusion and a sense of belonging. Make sure you’re reading them consistently, and subsequently respecting their views and position within your organisation.
Referrals: contingent workers tend to know plenty of contingent workers. And workers always like their views and suggestions being heard. So, establish your business’ talent pool by creating a contingent worker referral program. Plus, trusted referrals are an excellent source of new talent.
Exit surveys: as I stated in the last point, people like having their views heard. The exit interview is not only hugely valuable to your business, it’s also a great tactic to endear your organisation to the rehiring of quality contingent workers. Listen and learn!
Belonging matters for all of your workforce. D&I should not stop with your full-time employees but expand to your contingent workforce.
Be human: sounds obvious, right? Well… that’s not always the case. Everyone endures ‘stuff’ going on in their life, from time to time. And when this inevitably happens with your contingent workers, give them time off, offer support, show compassion and empathy.
Mandate better processes: having consistent operational and management processes for all contingent workers across your business (that is, across all departments), is crucial for a well-functioning, high-output workforce. And leaves a much smaller margin for error.
Buy into TTM: Total Talent Management is proving to be a popular and effective strategy. Making data-based talent decisions will vastly improve the accuracy of the resources you appoint, and therefore the successful and timely completion of live projects. In our experience, there’s really no better way to manage contingent workers.
Get your perms on board: nothing kills the success of a contingent workforce program better than poor (or zero) buy-in from your permanent workers. Ensure your employees are across the contingent worker’s remit, contract length and direct team. This will build a far more likely environment for success.
It (almost) goes without saying: the contingent workforce segment is experiencing significant growth, both in volume and impact on organisations. This is true across organisations of all sizes and industries. The problem we’ve seen often is this: so many business leaders are simply not skilled to manage contingent workers effectively. If you can step back, and map out a strategic plan to better engage and manage contingent workers, you’ll bypass many of the well-avoided challenges. Such as compliance risks, information losses, financial risks and more.
As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help, please contact us here.