Most employers make significant efforts to improve the engagement of their employees. Why does it matter to an employer whether an employee is engaged or not? Failure to engage employees could directly affect the bottom line, as disengaged employees hurt a company’s competitive advantage and thereby its profits. According to a 2013 survey by Gallup, low levels of employee engagement result in inferior performance and productivity, absenteeism, and low customer service and high turnover – costing companies nearly $550 billion a year!
While much has been written about employee engagement, little attention has been given to the engagement of non-employees. Since they are only on a temporary assignment, it hardly matters, right? Wrong! Consider that today nearly a quarter of the American workforce is comprised of agency contractors, independent consultants, freelancers, and small teams delivering outsourced projects. Can a company be successful if it ignores the satisfaction and level of commitment of one quarter of its workforce? To further increase the criticality of the issue, consider that today contingent workers are holding critical technical, professional and managerial positions.
Employee satisfaction has traditionally been linked to compensation, recognition, a positive work environment, and opportunities for advancement. Incentives such as stock options, participation in 401(k) programs, employee gatherings, and awards programs are the norm in most companies. Yet these are the very activities that the courts use to determine claims of co-employment. How can a company motivate contingent workers to deliver high performance without incurring risk?
In working with clients, DCR Workforce has found that our clients can ensure a high level of commitment and performance from non-employees through the following actions:
Worker relations are always dynamic. As employers become increasingly dependent on non-employees, they must expand their focus to improve relations with all worker groups, ensuring high levels of productivity and performance – from each and every one of them.
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