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Management’s Guide To Engaging Your Contingent Workforce

Posted by Louis Flory

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3/18/14 9:41 AM

Does your company utilize a contingent workforce? There are several types of contingent employees, but, essentially, they are all on-demand employees used to meet rapid changes in staffing requirements. They may be used for a short time or, in some cases, they may become permanent employees of your organization. It can be difficult to motivate your contingent workforce. 

These employees may feel that they are not a true part of your company, and therefore unwilling to do any more than the bare minimum required of them.  This type of attitude can be infectious, and lead to widespread decreased productivity. As manager, one of your primary responsibilities is to motivate all of your workers to perform at the best of their ability. These five steps will help you motivate your contingent workforce.

Read: Workforce Management Solutions: What Drives Excessive Overtime?

1. Onboard Properly

Contingent or otherwise, when new workers arrive, they bring unique talents, skills and emotions with them. Get them started properly by immediately introducing each new employee to the team of coworkers they will be assigned to. Focus on building trust and developing lines of communication among your employees. Having employees who are comfortable working together and communicating clearly will help you keep productivity high.

2. Start Strong

Employees who have been working with you for a length of time have likely acquired all of the information they need to do their job well. The members of your contingent workforce probably do not enjoy this advantage. Proper training and orientation will get them up to speed quickly. Be sure to provide ready access to the information these workers need to do their jobs. Go the extra mile by offering information on benefits as well.

3. Offer Coaching

Very few of your employees will get everything right the first time. When the inevitable mistakes happen, provide appropriate feedback immediately. Start this process during training, where mistakes are less costly. Giving appropriate feedback does not micromanage or belittle employees; it shows that you are aware of their shortcomings, and willing to help them reach the goals that you set for them.

Read: HR's Cheat Sheet To Reducing Employee Turnover

 4. Get Feedback
Feedback is a two way street. Your employees may not have all the information, but even you as a manager, may not have all the information. Members of your contingent workforce bring an outside perspective that can be valuable to your business. Make sure that all your employees know that your door is open to listen to their concerns and suggestions. When you receive useful feedback, be sure to act on it immediately.

5. Include Everyone

It is a mistake to act as though you have two types of employees. Whether they are members of your regular or your contingent workforce, they are all crucial to your continued success. To increase morale and loyalty, provide plenty of opportunities for regular employees and contingent employees to interact. Happy, motivated employees make your job as manager easier, and improve your productivity as well.
As manager, you are required to use whatever tools are at your disposal to meet your productivity targets. In many industries, the contingent workforce is a crucial part of your toolkit. Take the proper steps to motivate the contingent workforce, and you will reap the benefits immediately and potentially in the months and years ahead.
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Topics: Contingent Workforce Management