In an often chaotic and unstable job market, stability and reliability is key, not only for companies seeking talent, but also for contingent employees. Workforce optimization strategies pair employers with supplemental staff based on each company’s specific needs. But workforce optimization doesn’t stop with employer priorities. To make sure everyone involved benefits, your contingent workforce must feel stable and supported throughout their contingent employee experience. Employers can then rely on a dedicated and happy workforce, and employees enjoy reliable work, benefits, and skill-building opportunities.
According to Forbes, “The leaders of people-centric companies understand that it’s people who make their company successful. These companies realize that when people feel valued and cared for, they do their work with stronger intrinsic motivation, a deeper sense of meaning, and a greater level of engagement. They go the extra mile simply because they want to contribute to an organization that cares about them.”
The contingent employee experience
When employers focus on improving the employee experience for their contingent workforce, there are several important questions to ask:
- What’s missing from the contingent employee experience?
- How can your company create more inclusivity for your contingent employees?
- What is the benefits gap between your full-timeand contingent employees?
- How can you bridge the gap so your contingent workforce feels as valued as your full-time employees?
Companies perform better when employees are engaged with their work and inclined to remain with their employer. Providing contingent employees with stability improves their workplace experience and increases the likelihood of retention — which provides your business with stability in turn.
Balancing employer and employee needs
A well-managed workforce, contingent or otherwise, works best when employee needs are addressed in balance with those of the employer. This people-first approach allows individual employees to achieve personal goals (e.g., skill building) and contribute to the broader success of your business. Employer’s often overlook or underestimate the skills, talent, and flexibility employees bring to a contingent position. Each member of your workforce comes with a unique set of skills, capabilities, employment needs, and career goals. Building a workforce management strategy focused on helping each employee succeed helps you place them in the best position to maximize their success — and yours.
Employers must also make more effort to understand and analyze the variety of options for working with contingent talent. Use the following questions to start conversations about employee goals and how they align with company needs:
- Is your contingent employee interested in a permanent position?
- Is contingent work their primary source of income? Or is it supplemental?
- Do their skills and work style support seasonal or project-based employment?
Take some time to learn your employees’ stories. What are they looking to learn from working with your company? Everyone has a unique story to tell and unique goals they hope to achieve — and knowing who your employees are and what they need helps you match them with the best position.
The bottom line
Ultimately, improving the contingent employee experience improves your company’s bottom line. The first step is defining precisely what “quality of life” means for the contingent workforce and your business. A strategic workforce management partner can guide you through the process and help you identify the missing pieces in your company’s contingent employee experience. What do your contingent employees need to encourage retention, boost productivity, and most critically, feel safe and included in your workplace?
The relationship between a positive employee experience, company productivity, and a better bottom line is a converging path to long-term business success. Contingent employees are a critical element of today’s talent market, and a happy, healthy, and thriving contingent workforce contributes to higher rates of retention, productivity, and stability for your business — and all its employees.