Tips to keep your contingent workforce loyal
By Matthew Dickason, Chief Operating Officer, Hays Talent Solutions
Treating your contingent workforce as part of the team and imparting the appropriate knowledge are just two ways in which you can build loyalty.
More than just a temporary solution for workload peaks, a contingent workforce is now viewed as an integral part of the workforce for many employers. For these employers, contingent workers are sustained and incorporated resources that allow continuity of work without disruption. Given the integrated and intrinsic nature of a contingent workforce, keeping these employees loyal is a must.
Interestingly, loyalty (or a lack thereof) is often cited as a disadvantage of a contingent workforce. But the below simple steps can help overcome this issue.
Our tips to keep your contingent workforce loyal are:
Treat your contingent workforce as part of the team: Do not encourage a ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitude in your team and stamp it out if you see any evidence of such attitudes. By treating your contingent workers as part of your team rather than as outsiders, you’ll make them feel like they are valued. So invite them to team meetings or briefings, include them on team communications, give them access to the company Intranet, and invite them to any team social events.
Induct your contingent workers: Provide the appropriate induction so that contingent workers feel connected and able to quickly access the appropriate resources, policies and processes. Ultimately, they’ll be more productive and produce higher quality results. This includes identifying the knowledge required to perform their assignment, where to find the information they need on shared drives and websites as well as the relevant processes and policies. Also, give them the context of the tasks you set out for them so they can understand the bigger picture.
Introduce your contingent workforce to the team: Explain each team member’s role and their specialities to your new contingent worker. Also tell the rest of the team what the contingent worker’s role will be and their previous experience. The faster everyone in the team gets to know each other, the quicker trust builds and communication barriers come down, which helps everyone work more effectively.
Set objectives: We suggest you clearly establish objectives of what your contingent worker is to achieve. This allows them to monitor their own progress and creates shared accountability for their performance.
Recognition: Just as you would with your permanent employees, recognise the hard work and successes of your contingent staff. Use a fair and equal system of processes for recognition and rewards.
Engagement: Engagement is critical for a successful employer-employee relationship, and this extends to the relationship with your contingent workforce. By engagement, we refer to the extent to which employers understand, communicate and build a good relationship with their workers. The benefit for your organisation is that the more satisfied or engaged a contingent worker is, the more likely they are to be motivated to contribute. So open the lines of communication and ask for your contingent workforces’ opinions on key engagement factors in your organisation through opinion surveys (at least annually, covering topics such as performance feedback, relationship with management, nature of the workload, workplace flexibility), online forums or regular reviews. Listen to what they have to say and build closer relationships with them.
Front-line managers: Look at the quality of your managers. Front-line managers are the key to loyalty so consider how good they are at motivating and inspiring their contingent workforce, managing their performance and setting useful goals. Do you need to develop or train your managers in this area?
A contingent workforce will hit the ground running, but these simple steps can help you build their loyalty as well as maximise their productivity from their first hour in your workplace.
*Hays is one of the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people. Matthew Dickason will be speaking at the ATC’s upcoming Contingent: The Flexible Workforce Conference, 26-27 Aug, Syd in a session titled: ‘What are the major considerations in selecting a Vendor Management Solution (VMS)?’.
Hays will also feature as part of the all new Contingent Technology Stream discussing why, when and how to go about implementing a VMS .
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