This new era calls for new rules and new methodology
It’s a whole new world. The era of companies made up entirely of full-timers who are in it for thirty years until the gold watch retirement party are gone. According to the Freelancers Union, there are more than 40 million freelancers, contractors, temps, and self-employed workers in the United States. And the more advanced our technology becomes, the more this number stands to increase.
Today’s digital universe gives every business access to highly-skilled workers who are able to perform their jobs from everywhere and anywhere on Earth, with the same level of quality and productivity as onsite-full-timers – in many cases, even better. But only those companies that understand the unique intricacies of managing a workforce made of up full-time, contract, and outsourced employees will reap the benefits of these arrangements. Although this integration can seem challenging, it is possible to manage these professionals.
Take the time to vet well
It may seem obvious, but if you’re not going through a recruiter or an agency, having your company extensively vet a contractor or outsourced worker is key, especially if they’re going to be working remotely. If you’ve never worked with this person before, take the time to check references, run a background check, check out their social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and go through all the proper checks before bringing them onboard.
Make sure you’re onboard
Many times, because they’re brought on just for a specific project, contractors or virtual employees are not given a proper orientation and thus have no prior exposure to your company culture before diving in. Although you may not think it’s necessary, anyone who’s going to be working for you should have the benefit of understanding your company mission, core values, and culture. You’ll find that you get much more value out of these types of workers when you onboard them properly.
There’s nothing more important than communication. Whether we’re talking about your onsite, full-time folks, remote workers, or contractors, brief, consistent meetings are key to ensuring everyone’s on task and is well-equipped to perform their duties. Daily phone calls and Skype meetings that gathers both the onsite team and all remote workers are great ways to keep everyone up to speed and address any challenges people are struggling with.
Set realistic, clearly-specified goals
Whether they’re sitting down the hall or in their house 2,000 miles away, everyone on your team needs clearly-defined goals and expectations. They also need to know how long you expect them to spend on tasks and the appropriate deadline to get it done. Never assume that your workers, even the ones you see every day, know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing – unless you’ve already communicated it.
Have an open-door policy
Managers and business owners who make themselves available to their teams will find they’ll perform better. If you’re not physically available, make sure your team knows how and when they can reach you to bounce ideas off of you, ask for direction, or inform you of any issues or concerns.
Include everyone in company-wide events
While it may be difficult for remote workers to attend company gatherings, events, and training sessions, if you have contractors working alongside your full-time staff, it’s best to include them. This not only helps them feel like they are a part of the team, it also increases engagement and collaboration.
It’s not uncommon for a contractor or a remote employee to be in the dark when it comes to their performance. Oftentimes they complete a project, even one that spanned months, without ever hearing how well they achieved their tasks. Feedback can not only foster a higher level of productivity among your full-time staff, but also from your contractors and outsourced team members. An email that offers praise for a job well-done or a phone call to go over what worked and what didn’t are great ways to ensure that everyone on your team knows how they’re doing and what needs improvement.
Allow them to do what they do best
You’re not a java engineer – that’s why you hired one to handle the projects that require his or her skills. So while you know what needs to get done, these professionals know how to accomplish the task at hand. After you’ve set the goals and clearly communicated the what, when, and why, do your best to take a step back and let them do what you hired them to do. Micromanaging is not only annoying, it’s sending a message that you don’t trust them.
While managing teams that are made up of a combination of full-time employees as well as contractors and outsourced, remote workers is an entirely different animal from traditional management, it can be done well if you follow these tips.
And remember, when you’re looking to hire top employees, turn to us. We’ve earned the trust of a diverse array of businesses, including small start ups, Fortune 500s, and highly-renowned organizations. Our expertise lies in matching you up with the most qualified professionals and we have built one of the largest networks of talent in the world. Get in touch and get started today.