By Sophie Elise
As industry needs continue to change, more and more companies are exploring the benefits of a contingent workforce. In fact, as many as 40% of American workers classify as on-demand basis employees, most commonly in the form of freelancers and consultants.
For management, making the transition towards adopting a contingent workforce model entails many considerations. Last week, we established some ‘Tips For Considering a Contingent Workforce’, such as knowing how to maintain control and utilizing technology to build an effective team. Here, we will learn more about how managers can keep their contingent workforce up and running through effective leadership.
Onboard and familiarize
First, managers must get off on the right foot by properly introducing a contingent worker to the company and vice versa. Having a defined onboarding session covering the company, its workers and their roles, as well as goals and current progress, can help contingent workers understand their position on your team.
For instance, introducing a graphic design consultant to a company’s history and branding will make it easier for both the contingent worker and manager to yield the wanted output. Helping a contingent worker become familiar with the team and the company’s overall goals result in a productive collaboration that is beneficial for everyone — especially since there is considerably less face-to-face time between you and your contingent staff.
Incentivize and recognize achievements
When workers are incentivized for good performance, their need to feel valued is met, and they stay motivated for longer.
Value their career growth
Having consistent feedback entails understanding the importance of a career path for a contingent worker. Highground CEO Andee Harris recommends getting to know employees’ strengths in order to lead them successfully. “There isn’t a one-size-fits-all management style,” Harris explains, emphasizing the importance of personalization in leading different teams.
Similarly, understanding who the employees are and any problems with their roles can speed up optimization in a company that uses a contingent workforce. Taking the time to present workers with options for training or expanding their role can not only be encouraging for them in their career path but can also benefit the company despite their potentially short stay. That’s because investing in a contingent worker’s growth will improve not only the quality of their work but also of the contingent workforce as a whole.
Last but not least, managers must be able to utilize technology effectively to eliminate the problems of distance and time. In their examination of organizational leadership, Maryville University emphasizes the growing importance of technology not just in facilitating workflow, but in shaping entire workplaces. Today’s leaders must be adept at using tech tools to manage remote workers in ways that connect with them. Problems with utilization visibility, optimizing performance, or simple internal communication can be solved with these tools.
As the pool of freelancers and consultants continues to grow, it is important for managers to know the difference between what is beneficial for contingent workers versus regular employees, and what is essential for both.