Company Culture: The Hidden Gem for Engaging Your Contingent Workers – Part 2

Part 2 of a 3 part blog series

Click here for Part 1

As you know, we’ve been doing the rounds with our clients and networks, looking company culture, and its influence on contingent workers.

It appears few organisations take their contingent workers into consideration when company culture’s being addressed. So we’re helping you out here, by providing some actionable insights on how your company can better engage your contingent workers, through a strategic, inclusive approach to company culture.

And again we ask……what works?

Here we’ve provided another three tips you can action TODAY to influence your organisation’s culture and ensure you’re always appropriately engaging contingent workers, to be the top-quality, high-performers they truly are!

 

  1. Inclusiveness

Now. Don’t go all rogue on us here, you’re still required to ensure your contingent workers couldn’t be ‘deemed employees’ by the ATO or your presiding tax office. No sir. However, there’s little actions you can take, to make the contractor component of your workforce, not feel like second rate citizens or complete outsiders. So think about these ideas as a start…

  • give them a set of your company’s branded items (if you have them). Stuff like pens, note pads, a t-shirt, water bottle and baseball cap. It’s a tiny gesture on your behalf, but will carry a lot of weight with your contractors
  • when you have celebrations for staff – like birthdays, weddings, babies, even Friday drinks – invite your contract workers along. Again, it’s a great way to make them feel part of the team. But also, it’s a great way for you to get to know them outside of the context of the work they do in your organisation: you’ll better understand their goals, strengths, passions AND who they are as people
  • if you’re short a player on your mixed touch footy or company basketball team, see if they’d like to participate. Another win-win scenario!

 

  1. Education

Internal communications can be a real downer for contingent workers, who are just starting or are new to your business. We’re not talking here about your stream of communications with them about their role (although that is also critical). We’re talking about making sure the rest of the business is across why they’ve been engaged, what they’re there to do, and what the broader team and business can expect from these workers. So think about doing the following, both before and when your new contract workers start:

  • email (or intranet) the team within which the contractor/s will sit, with plenty of notice, to give them an understanding of the contractors’ role, how these workers will benefit the team, and the expectations of the team with regards to the combined work schedule
  • give the direct team a brief background on these workers, to provide context. This will help eliminate any water-cooler speculation, and will help to establish credibility before your contractors even start. Don’t go over-the-top. Be clear, honest, succinct
  • prior to your contractors starting, encourage the team to welcome these new workers, to speak with them, and engage with them, like they would any new worker
  • email (or intranet) your broader business about your contractors commencing. Again, this will discourage unnecessary and potentially negative speculation and will provide the business with context as to why the workers are engaged and what they’re being set to achieve

 

  1. Give Them A Chance To Succeed: Don’t Focus on the Past

Now, we’re not getting all hippy on you here. What we’re saying is, if your business, project, team or recent past has gone through negative experiences – like a lazy worker, a failed pitch, a lost client – and you’re still reeling from the experience, park it. Don’t let it influence the next phase and how you engage both your team and your new contractors.

Contract workers are outsiders, coming to work within your team. And they’ll pick up on any negative vibes very quickly. Which you absolutely don’t want! It’s a sure-fire way to reduce your ROI from investing in these workers! So park it.

Learn from any negativity of the recent past. Document, share and discuss those learnings with your team. And embrace the next phase with enthusiasm (which is totally contagious), positivity, inclusion, cohesion.

 

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