Thanks to the economy and the growing impact of globalization, contingent workers (also known as contract workers or freelancers) are starting to play a bigger role in the workforce. These employees are hired on a project-by-project basis by organizations, which can last anywhere from a few days to a year or more. One of the toughest things an organization can do is try engaging contingent workers as they would their full-time employees.
After all, contingent employees are only around for a short period of time and often do not feel like “real” employees. Despite the fact these workers may not be permanent, organizations can still see a positive benefit by engaging them in the workplace.
There are several strategies that management can focus on to engage their contingent population:
1. Let Contingent Workers Know What They Do Makes A Difference
By nature, these employees are not with an organization for an extended period of time, and therefore have a hard time seeing the impact of their work. To allow contingent employees to see the value of their work, make sure to recognize their work on a regular basis, as recognition is the top driver of employee engagement.
2. Show Employees Potential Career Paths
Contingent workers often have a hard time seeing a long-term career path within an organization since they are hired on a temporary basis. Let employees know that good performance can lead to additional projects with the organization. If there is a path to full-time employment available, communicate this with the employee.
3. Ask Contingent Employees For Their Feedback
Temporary employees are not typically included in organizations’ employee surveys or other means of collecting feedback. However, it is just as important to make sure that contingent employees’ voices are heard.
These employees can offer an outsider’s perspective on problems the organization may be struggling with. In addition, by focusing on issues that are important to these employees, an organization can ensure that they continue to have the same, high-quality applicants for their contingent positions.
4. Treat Contingent Employees Like They Are A True Part Of The Company
Contingent workers can sometimes feel left out and disconnected because they do not have full-time status. Whenever possible, include contingent employees in normal employee activities, and provide opportunities for them to interact with their coworkers.
5. Provide The Training Necessary For Contingent Employees To Do Their Jobs Effectively
Since these employees are usually hired to complete a specific project, contingent workers do not always receive adequate training. Make sure the training they receive matches up to all of their responsibilities.
Just like full-time employees, when contingent employees are engaged they can make a much bigger impact in the workplace. By following these strategies, organizations can engage their contingent workforce, thereby allowing employees to do their best work every day.