When businesses need someone to help out for a short-term project or if they require a worker with specialized skills, they turn to contract workers to fill the void. This decision makes a lot of sense since it solves a problem quickly and saves their company money in the long run.
More and more companies are using these workers in place of hiring permanent full-time employees, and it shows in the growth of these independent contractors throughout the country. While exact figures may not be available, estimates are claiming that these contract workers now make up between thirty and forty percent of the workforce.
Unfortunately, many employers are treating these workers differently than their permanent employees, and it doesn’t create a collaborative environment that results in optimal productivity.
Here are a few suggestions for making your contract workers feel as though they are a respected part of your team.
Treat Them Like One of Your Own
Your contract workers have the same goals in mind as your regular workers: to help you complete a project or provide skill for the organization. With that in mind, why wouldn’t you give them the same status as everyone else on the team?
Give them access to your company’s resources and invite them to corporate events. Include them in meetings and lunches. The more you make them feel welcome and important, the better they will perform while they are with you.
Help Them to Develop Their Skills
Just like your own talented workers, contact workers appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills. Give them the same advice and suggestions for enhancing their skills as you give your full-time staff. Provide information to them on any online education that’s available or required for the rest of the workers.
One other option: You could pay for the contract worker to attend a workshop and then share the insights with everyone at a future team meeting.
Show Your Appreciation
Everyone—even your temporary workers—needs positive feedback from their employer. It makes them feel valued and inspires them to do their best work for you. You can show appreciation in several ways:
- Trust them with responsibility
- Include them in company events
- Ask them for their opinion
- Pull them aside and tell them you appreciate their efforts
- Let them know how their work is helping the company reach its objectives
Whatever you can do to promote a sense of belonging in your contract workers will help to create a strong and collaborative team. Everyone wants to feel as if they are part of your family, including those who will be leaving eventually.
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