From a recent PwC study, it was discovered 92% of companies aren’t managing non-employee workers as effectively as they could.
Let me rephrase that…. almost all companies that engage non-employee workers are not maximising their investment in this talent pool.
A talent pool that is growing in size and frequency of engagement.
A talent pool that is often brought in specifically to achieve set tasks or projects.
A talent pool that can at times, be so highly specialised and experienced, they’re often more expensive than their full-time equivalent.
So all in all, most companies who engage non-employee workers, are creating a situation that is near impossible for these workers to deliver at full capacity or effectiveness.
And the ever more surprising factual overlay is the increasingly apparent allocation that heavy lifting organisations are placing with their temporary or non-employee workers, on projects and deliverables.
Getting the relationship right with these workers is critical for their efficient deployment, engagement and output. Especially in larger, more complex organisations.
By understanding the nuances associated with the successful engagement of a non-employee workforce, you’re in a position to transform your business, to achieve more efficient project completion, at a lower cost, higher talent ROI and often, shorter delivery timeframes.
Here are the main factors which, in our experience managing non-employee workers for some of Australia’s biggest employers, are valuable considerations so your business can get the marriage between your business, and your non-employee workers, right.
1. Make sure your leadership team are on board
If the leadership in your organisation have hesitations about taking on non-employee workers, it will make the task of incorporating them into the operational engine incredibly difficult.
The rapid changes taking place in today’s workforce are impossible to ignore. And this is notwithstanding the fallout from COVID, where the likelihood of ongoing work-from-home policies are likely to prevail. A stalemate of workforce changes of today is the increasing preference of workers choosing non-employee work status over permanent work status. Your business leadership team needs to embrace these emerging trends if the business is to grow with the modern economy and in particular, the post COVID work environment.
Try to avoid the assumption that your business leadership recognises the benefits of taking on non-employee workers. Instead, educate them on why non-employee talent is critical for business growth, including those workers sourced from non-traditional channels. Show them the multitude of ways non-employee can add value to the business, while successfully managing full-time talent successfully.
By improving leadership’s understanding of existing and imminent changes in the talent marketplace, you’re enabling a boost to your brand’s strength and longevity. In addition, when non-employee workers have great experiences in your business, they’ll likely repeatedly return and will be inclined to refer other top workers to your organisation.
2. Make an effort to forge a strong relationship with your non-employee workers
Sounds basic, right? I hear you.
But an authentic approach to engaging these workers will repay your investment in them, massive dividends. A genuinely inviting undertaking when managing and engaging non-employee workers will enable them to feel part of the team, somewhat important and integral to the project or business.
Undertake their integration into your business in a human and considered way. Set and track their deliverables, KPI’s and output. Keep the lines of communication open and transparent throughout their tenure. Don’t ever think a ‘set and forget’ mindset will optimise their time in your business.
And what about this?
Take a personal interest in them.
They’re people, after all, not just workers. Do you know what taking an interest in them does? According to the PwC study, they’ll tend to stick around in your organisation for longer.
Do you know one of the easiest perks to provide to your non-employee workers?
A title. Clever, right?
It’s of absolutely no consequence that they’re limited tenure. A title gives them a place and a purpose and it also provides context to the other workers in your organisation.
Invite non-employee workers to relevant meetings, Zoom calls or company events.
The risks you’re exposed to by not undertaking these strategies are many. They include lower engagement in the project and your organisation overall, which will eliminate the opportunity for optimised performance and output. Their likelihood of returning to your organisation will be reduced, as will their likelihood of referring other quality workers. And of course, your reputation as the host organisation for non-employee talent will be compromised.
3. Provide resources for non-employee workers to do their best work
Limiting access to workforce tools and information will severely restrict the opportunity for non-employee workers to deliver their best work. Provide these workers with access to information resources, company-subscribed data or research and other pertinent business tools. This simple strategy will allow them to perform at the same level, with the same information, like the rest of your team.
To ensure they have access to key resources, make sure you’re checking in with both your permanent talent and these temporary hires on a regular basis. Facilitate one-on-one catch-ups and frequent check-ins. Think about the information and tools available to your team at a holistic level, and provide the same support and access to your non-employee workers.
Be careful though. Don’t risk compromising sensitive company information or enterprise IP with non-employee workers. Instead, figure out ways to gate access to specific areas of your corporate systems while leaving other avenues wide open.
The future of work will be heavily configured with non-employee and other categories of tenure limited workers, that can be seamlessly aligned to the changing needs of your business. The flexible nature of non-employee workers not only benefits them, but helps your business as well through the introduction of fresh ideas, new skills, and alternative perspectives. And, working with non-employee talent offers access to potentially highly skilled workers, previously unavailable due to the old school nature of permanent or employee work status. The commercial benefit here is very real too – by engaging non-employee talent on an as-needs basis, you can access specialised skills only when you need them, offering a positive hit to your bottom line.
As the nature of work continues to evolve, it’s critical that your organisation adapts your approach to workforce planning, especially to help future-proof your business. With a heavier emphasis placed on wellness in the workplace and work-life balance, the quality non-employee workers realise that they can achieve a flexible working life, with meaningful roles in their host organisations. And it’s these workers that frequently lead major projects which take the organisation to the next level. As such, it’s imperative that your business has a strategy in place to source, attract, engage and retain these workers.
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.