An Executive Approach: Creating a Great Workplace for Contingent Workers

Posted by Louis Flory

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1/26/16 8:00 AM

How to create a great workplace for contingent workers
My position at Effex Workforce Management Solutions gives me the opportunity to hear from many contingent workers about the working environments they deal with daily. There’s no doubt there are some strong themes about what makes a workplace engaging, dynamic and satisfying. There are also some situations where the experience is much less so. I think it’s important for companies that retain contingent workers to understand what makes a workplace great for all involved.  I’ll share my thoughts.

The Right Candidate for the Right Position

A satisfying work experience for contingent workers starts with matching the individual with the tasks they’re best suited to perform without considerable training. This means being clear in your expectations and description of the position you’re seeking to fill with temporary labor. Contingent workforce solutions can help ensure you get the right person for the job because they do much of the vetting and training for you.

Develop an Onboarding Strategy

You might have a successful process for getting new hires up to speed, but you’re overlooking the importance of onboarding for your contingent workers. You must ensure that your contracted labor has a clear vision of your company’s goals, work environment and culture. Only then are they invested in the projects they’re being retained to accomplish.

Establish Trust from the Start

A great work environment for contingent personnel is one where they can trust their managers. Deliver on the promises you make, pay a competitive salary and be fair in critiquing their performance. Treat them with the same respect you offer your full time employees, as these workers are just as valuable to your company. 

Give Contingent Workers the Big Picture

When they simply show up to perform designated tasks, the contingent workforce isn’t engaged with your company or its projects. Help them understand how their work fits into the bigger picture and impacts the end user or customer.

Encourage a Sense of Pride Within the Contingent Workforce

Workers who are pleased with their work will continue to perform at high levels. Make sure you cultivate pride in the workplace. Offer compliments for a job well done and show them how their contribution benefits the entire organization. 

Show Your Appreciation in the Value a Contingent Worker Brings to the Table

In addition to praising high performing contingent workers, provide other incentives that have value to them. You might consider monetary bonuses or gift cards.  There are many ways to show your appreciation. Offer them specialized training or other opportunities that benefit their professional development efforts.

Include the Contingent Workforce in Some Company Outings

There are certain company events that you should certainly invite your contracted labor team to attend. Contingent workers should be included in gatherings like birthday lunches, work anniversary celebrations and training sessions. Not only does including them make them feel more like members of your team, but they also build closer connections with your regular employees. There are events where the presence of temporary personnel isn’t appropriate, such as corporate retreats or meetings where they’d be representing your company. 

You can see that treatment of your contingent workforce should be distinct from how you manage your employees. It only makes sense: These individuals are a separate group that deserves to be handled differently. Would you add anything to this list in terms of tips or recommendations? I’d like to hear what you think.

Topics: Workforce Management, Training Resources