Everyone wants to feel valued for their contributions at work. But when a worker is from the contingent labor pool, it’s harder for companies to make them feel a part of their core employee group. About 20% of the American workforce is made up of the contingent workforce. Whether it’s freelancers or part-timers, temporary workers, or contract-to-hire, these laborers provide a valuable resource to your company. But if you can’t find a way to integrate them into your core employee team, collaboration and productivity will not reach its full potential. Here are some strategies to help you assimilate contingent workers into the team.
How to Make Your Contract Workers Feel at Home
The more that your workers—all of your workers—feel engaged in the mission of the company, the more effective they be as individuals and as teams. This includes independent contractors and full-time employees, consultants and freelancers, or anyone else playing key roles on the front lines of your business. Some of the ways you can undertake this goal includes:
- Orienting contingent employees in the same way you would full-time workers is a good way to instill corporate values from day one. While training may be slightly different, the orientation process should address some of the same areas you’d handle with a regular employee. Try teaming a contingent worker with a mentor from the full-time workforce to help them acclimate and create a feeling that all members of the team are important.
- Treat your contingent workers like full-time employees by giving them performance reviews. Gather their feedback just like you would for regular employees. Reward these workers to make them feel more at home. Don’t let them feel like a vendor that should be lucky to just work at your company.
- Engage your contingent workers in team-building exercises along with regular employees. You will facilitate communication and collaboration between your contingent workers and everyone else in the company if you introduce these workers and create ways for them to bond together.
- Above all else, be careful not to create a subculture. It’s easy to create a sense of us versus them when you have a full-time workforce and contingent staffers. Be alert to situations where this could arise. Company leadership must work to create a sense of camaraderie across the organization and create expectations for managers that you will accept nothing less than full cooperation and collaboration between everyone in the organization, no matter their employment category.
As companies move more toward hiring contingent workers, it is critical to counteract any expectations that the work quality would be somehow different from full-time employees. Low-quality work could be a threat to your company if you continue to increase the number of contingent workers in your organization. One tactic that can counteract this risk is to make sure your company doesn’t treat contingent workers as if they are the hired help.
FoxHire can help you in your efforts to build relationships with your contingent workforce. As an employer of record (EOR) our team handles all the elements of hiring and employee management. We can work with you to develop a system for orientation, rewards, and other incentives and measurements that will engage your contingent workers. Talk to our team today about how we can help.