Contracting has been a popular employment strategy both opted by businesses and working professionals. Contractors can provide enormous benefits to your company, but non-permanent hires also present challenges in management.
“While it was predominantly a mainstay hiring solution for low-cost employment previously, we have observed a huge demand for contract staffing solutions for different sectors. That demand has also grown across all employment levels,” explains Marlinda Zulkifli, Head of Page Contracting Malaysia.
Responding to the fluctuating demands of the market by engaging contract workers is a strategic way to remain agile in today’s ever-changing business environment. Ahead, our top tips for motivating contractors.
Understand a contractor’s motivations
People go into contracting for different reasons. There is a commonly held myth that contractors cannot get work elsewhere, but it is essential to remember that this idea is just that—a myth.
Most contractors are highly motivated, highly skilled workers. Asking contractors directly why they choose contracting over permanent work will help you ascertain their motivations: it could be the higher rate available for specialists, the development of new skills, the opportunity to work at specific companies or in particular roles, or the flexibility possible in non-permanent positions.
Create clear guidelines
Companies must provide clear instructions and guidelines for contractors. On top of that, offer feedback on their work performance.
Ensuring ongoing updates around expectations and responsibilities assists with keeping the contractor in the loop and feeling satisfied in their role. Making sure you as a manager also stick to those guidelines (unless otherwise discussed) is key to giving a contractor autonomy.
Contextualise the work
Explain to contract workers the overall aims and goals to which your team is working. Since they just joined your team, they would not understand right away the significance of a particular task as part of the big picture.
Taking the extra time to discuss the aim and how it connects to the bigger picture. Contractors often have a broad perspective gained from other workplaces and similar tasks that they can feed into your plans, but only if you let them in on those plans.
Build your relationship with contracting staff
The foundation of a strong relationship is paying your contractors at or above the market rate. For many contractors, the high pay rate is one of the key reasons to pursue it as a career choice, so you won’t get the most out of them if they are underpaid. A strong offer for a contractor’s day rate proves that you respect their talents and are not trying to lowball them.
In most cases, the longer the contract period, the more benefits the position would come with to keep the contract hire engaged, supported and valued. “Some ways to improve the benefits package, especially for more senior roles, are to include maternity or paternity leave and dental care coverage,” adds Marlinda.
Another way to build positive working relationships is to offer contractors career growth opportunities, which can come in the form of mentorship or training. It’s not just the contract employees who will benefit from these initiatives. Organisations can enjoy higher levels of engagement, retention and knowledge-sharing, which boosts employer branding to attract top contract talent.
Make contractors part of the team
It is imperative that you eliminate any barriers that prevent a contractor from feeling like part of the team. Small distinctions, such as not being given a company email address, not receiving invites to company-wide events or missing out on the corporate benefits package, can make a contractor feel like they don’t belong – and this could cause them to become disengaged.
Keeping contract workers well-engaged will establish a rewarding relationship between a company and contractors, especially if organisations plan to engage the same contingent workforce in the future.
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