Contingent Workforce Management Tips

Andre Oentoro

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Over the last couple of years, the labor market experienced quite a lot of important changes. We can, without any doubt, agree that the rise of contingent workforce teams definitely presents one of the most disruptive trends.

And, keeping in mind the relentless pace at which the modern business world operates, having the ability to hire highly specialized teams to deal with specific challenges with no long-term obligations or drastic infrastructural changes does sound like a very novel idea.

However, we should all remember that using this model doesn’t come without certain challenges. Some of the biggest concerns include the management of these teams and ensuring their engagement despite the fact they operate outside the business infrastructure and traditional engagement channels.

Let us take a look at a couple of tips then that should prove to be useful in this regard.

Mandate business-wide rules and procedures

Leveraging contingent third-party teams means your ability to micro-manage their activities will always be compromised. However, micro-management was never considered a particularly good practice, to begin with. What you should do instead is to narrow down the list of requirements you have from your employees to a couple of easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement procedures and mandate these new rules across the entirety of your business and its third-party outlets. These guidelines can still go a long way in putting all the people working for you on the same page and giving them a shared sense of purpose.

Establish clear goals and KPIs

This topic is very similar to the one we have mentioned above. But this time, instead of relying on broad rules of conduct and corporate procedures, you will let the efforts of your third-party contingent teams be guided by specific goals and KPIs. In order to do that, however, you will need to have a very good understanding of the contingent teams’ role in the overall workflow, how their performance fits the company’s priorities, and what problems you are trying to address. As long, as you are aware of these broader concerns, using any simple methodology like, for instance, SMART goals will serve you just fine.

Use third-party management services

Managing a contingent workforce does not only present a challenge from the perspective of ensuring proper engagement and team cohesion – using the teams from remote foreign locations can prove to be a genuine logistical nightmare. In a situation like that, ensuring compliance and managing teams requires so much time and effort that the benefits of hiring a contingent workforce usually end up lost in the shuffle. Therefore, if you plan on using foreign teams it is highly recommended to consider hiring professional contingent workforce management services and move this issue off the table altogether.

Establish clear lines of communication

When it comes to running a successful organization, good communication is the key. This issue becomes even more pronounced taking into consideration you are going to leverage the services or remote teams that are not a part of your traditional HR infrastructure. Do your best then to bring down all these barriers by setting up clear channels of communication where workers from all instances will be able to get timely feedback and freely exchange opinions. Of course, channels for high-priority communication like reporting certain critical problems should be created separately to avoid communication clutter.

Leverage rewards and recognition

Rewards and recognition were always considered highly effective methods for keeping your workers motivated and engaged. There is no reason why you should not use them to optimize the performance of your contingent teams as well. However, you should do your best not to put the contingent teams above the established long-term employees and treat them with more lucrative bonuses and benefit programs. If anything, putting all these workers under the same umbrella and giving them some shared goals they can work toward together can only improve cohesion and create a sense of camaraderie.

Conduct exit surveys

Last but not least, we would like to remind you that no business activity can be considered a complete success if you fail to learn something from it. Speaking strictly in terms of contingent teams doing some sort of exit survey about the employees' experience in your company can do a great job of giving you a more in-depth view of your business processes and understanding all the factors contributing to them working without any hiccups. In order to meet these goals, however, exit surveys should be deliberate, put in focus very specific process-oriented topics, and properly stimulate workers to provide honest answers.

So, there you have it – top six tips that should help you to make management of contingent teams as simple and streamlined as possible and use this valuable asset to its fullest extent. And, the chances are that you will need to consider all the things we have covered very seriously sooner than later. The present-day business world is incredibly fast-paced and mobile. As time goes by contingent teams will evolve from a novelty to an absolute necessity. It is in your best way to keep them as closely integrated with the rest of your organization as possible.

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Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).

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