Reshaping Your Contractor Relationships
In today's dynamic business landscape, companies are increasingly leveraging the talents of contractors and freelancers to supplement their in-house teams. Many companies are partially or even entirely contracting their workforce. And, why not? For the company, it keeps things lean, allowing for a lot of flexibility and versatility. For the contractor, it allows them more control over their time and labour, and diverse engagements.
These external collaborators bring a fresh perspective, specialized skills, and flexibility to the table. To maximize these relationships, it is crucial that a company enacts a culture that embraces every working professional as integral members of the team. Treating contractors with the same respect, trust, and inclusiveness as permanent employees fosters a collaborative environment that promotes productivity, creativity, and long-term success.
Here are 5 practical keys to build a cohesive work culture when contractors and freelancers are part of your team:
Build trust and clear communication: Trust and open communication are key to any successful team. This applies to contractors and freelancers as well. Provide them with the necessary information, tools, and support. Regularly check in, offer guidance, and create a space for feedback. This bridges the gap between in-house employees and external collaborators, enabling seamless collaboration.
Encourage collaboration and use collaboration tools: Collaboration is important whether team members work in-house or remotely. Encourage contractors and freelancers to actively participate in meetings and projects. Use digital collaboration tools to facilitate real-time collaboration and knowledge sharing. By including external collaborators and valuing their contributions, you foster a sense of belonging and integration.
Provide growth and learning opportunities: Contractors and freelancers also desire professional growth. Offer them opportunities to enhance their skills and participate in training programs. By investing in their growth, you demonstrate your commitment to their success. This not only improves their expertise but also strengthens the bond between the contractor and the company.
Celebrate achievements and recognize contributions: Recognition is a powerful motivator. Acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of contractors, both internally and externally. Highlight their contributions in team meetings and company-wide announcements. Publicly recognizing their efforts strengthens their sense of belonging and boosts morale.
Cultivate long-term partnerships: Look beyond short-term projects and aim for long-term relationships with contractors. Build trust, reliability, and mutual respect. By creating a pool of trusted external collaborators, you ensure consistency in project execution and benefit from their expertise. This can also lead to referrals and expand your network of reliable professionals.
Adopting such a culture is not only an ethical practice but also a strategic advantage. By fostering trust, communication, collaboration, growth opportunities, and recognition, we create an environment where all individuals, regardless of their employment status, can thrive. This inclusive approach harnesses the unique skills and perspectives of contractors and freelancers, enabling us to leverage their talents to drive innovation, achieve our goals, and build a strong and cohesive team.
Embrace the philosophy of treating all team members equally, and watch as your organization flourishes in a culture of mutual respect, collaboration and success.