H R and procurement professionals who handle staffing for the enterprise seek engagement as if it is the Holy Grail. Yet, when it comes to engagement, a lack of focus could be hurting your bottom line. If you're like most hiring managers, you're probably doing a great job engaging your full-time employees, but some of your contingent workers may feel left out or like they are not a "real" part of the organization.

Luckily, that does not have to be the case. Not only can you help your employees and your contingent workers get along, but you can also make them feel valued. It may take some time and hard work, but it is possible. After all, it is in your best interest to do so.

Why engagement matters

Contingent workers are growing in number and importance. In fact, experts predict that these workers will grow by 23 percent through 2020. Additionally, a Bureau of Labor Statistics report expect more than 80 percent of large organizations plan to increase their use of contract labor substantially.

This “new normal” presents great opportunities. Employers of choice will have an edge over the competition when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. They will have a “secret weapon” in the war for talent.

Increased engagement among workers results in increased productivity, improved corporate performance, and higher customer satisfaction. It makes sense that if this is true for full-time employees, then it likely applies to Contingent Staffing as well. So, how can you improve your contingent workers’ experience? How can you build a reputation as an employer of choice?

A Better Experience for everyone

You can make your workplace a great place for contingent workers.

Ed Frauenheim, the director of global research and content at the Great Place to Work Institute, suggests helping contingent workers experience trust, pride and camaraderie. Let’s dig deeper into that idea and get specific on how to create that experience for your contract labor.

  1. Offer training and skill development. Research has shown that workers value career advancement opportunities and challenging work. By offering your contingent workers the chance to work on exciting projects and improve their professional skills, you’re showing them that you value their career.
  2. Make sure you have an onboarding strategy. Onboarding is just as important for contract labor as it is for full-time employees, perhaps more so. Be sure to expose your contract labor to the organization’s goals and culture.
  3. Let them know they matter. This is not about ceremonies or awards. Share the “big picture” with contingent workers so they know how they fit in. In other words, make sure they understand how their work affects the customer and the industry.
  4. Encourage and value their contributions and innovations. Most companies hire contingent workers because of their unique skills or experience. Celebrate those things that make your contingent workers different. If you want your contingent workforce to feel satisfied, value what they bring to the table.
  5. Let the good times roll. Shared experiences build relationships. Promote camaraderie and fellowship by celebrating project milestones, birthdays, and holidays together.

What are you doing to improve your contingent workers’ experience? Join the conversation by tweeting us @BeelineVMS.

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