Are organizations doing enough to engage contract employees?
Contract or temporary workforce is becoming a global employment trend.Large organizations are picking up an integrated workforce model where they hire full-time employees for key positions and fulfill the rest with contract employees who are hired on work basis. The arrangement seems feasible as it offers flexibility and choice to all employer, client and the employee. Employees are not hesitant to choose contract positions that offers work-life balance and good money. But are these employees easily forgotten when it comes to workplace engagement?
A part of my job involves working closely with contract employees and an observation I have made along is that they feel felt out at social events or employee engagement activities at work. Mainly for the obvious reasons –
- They often do not work at premises of the employer who has hired them so have limited circle and access there.
- The client they work at treats them as outsiders so they are not made part of internal activities .
Any engagement activities that hiring organization initiates for contractual/ remote operating employees are occasional(like annual meets, RnR etc) which is why they are not as effective as ongoing engagement and social interactions at work.
Some ways to make contract employees feel part of organization are:
- Social collaboration software – Collaboration at work is made easier by the social tools and software that help remote employees stay connected with each other inside and outside work. Educating employees to use them might be little challenging but once introduced well, these social collaboration softwares can greatly enhance information sharing, knowledge sharing and communication among employees. Can technology really replace personal interaction? Ofcourse not, but giving employees a change to come together opens door for better social interaction at work.
- A mutual engagement plan – Why not work upon an engagement plan with the client and introduce it into contract agreement? Clients are often reluctant to involve contract employees in their workplace practices because of financial and security(sharing internal information) reasons. Decide upon ways how contract employees can be involved in engagement events and activities at client’s place with shared finance and lesser risk arrangement.
For long, staffing firms have overlooked the scenario but for a firm to stay in business and attract employees, it is getting essential to regulate its employee engagement practices.
Do you have any tips for engaging contract employees? Lets share and discuss..