The human touch: meaningful relationships in a contingent team

In the fast-paced world of business, the concept of a “team” has evolved beyond the confines of a traditional office setting. Today, teams often consist of a dynamic blend of full-time employees, freelancers, consultants, and other contingent workers. This modern approach brings flexibility and specialized expertise, but it also presents a unique challenge: how do we build meaningful relationships with these contingent team members?

Picture this: a workspace where faces change, expertise varies, and collaborations can transcend geographical boundaries. It might seem like a complex puzzle, but fear not, for the power of the human touch remains steadfast. Let’s dive into the art of fostering genuine connections with contingent team members – an art that not only enhances productivity but also enriches our professional lives.

Building meaningful relationships in a contingent team

The lives of contingent team members might be different from traditional employees. They juggle multiple projects, navigate diverse time zones, and balance work with other commitments. Show empathy by understanding their unique circumstances and accommodating their needs when possible. Flexibility breeds loyalty and a sense of partnership.

Incorporating the human touch into your management style can transform your contingent team into a cohesive unit, bound by shared values, trust, and a shared vision of success. Remember, the human touch isn’t limited by contractual arrangements; it’s a powerful tool that can enhance relationships and drive productivity across all team members.

Shared goals, united success

Regardless of employment status, every team member is driven by shared goals. Emphasize the bigger picture – the common objective that binds you all together. When everyone sees their role as integral to the team’s success, a sense of unity takes root. This shared purpose forms the bedrock of strong relationships, fostering a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect.

Building meaningful relationships starts with opening the doors of communication. Reach out with a genuine interest in their expertise, experiences, and ideas. Treat them as individuals rather than just resources. Use their names, show genuine interest in their work, and tailor your communication to their preferences. This personal touch helps establish a rapport and shows that you value their contributions.

Regular check-ins, virtual coffee chats, and team video calls can bridge the gap between remote work and personal connection. Remember, a simple “How’s your day going?” can go a long way.

Appreciation and recognition

A heartfelt “thank you” can make a world of difference. Express gratitude for their contributions, and acknowledge their efforts publicly. Just like your full-time employees, contingent team members deserve recognition for their hard work and contributions. 

Highlight their achievements in team meetings or through shout-outs on communication channels. Additionally, provide growth opportunities that align with their expertise and interests. When they see a path for development within your team, they are more likely to remain engaged and committed. This not only benefits their individual career journey but also strengthens their connection to the team’s mission.

Build bridges, not barriers

Don’t let physical distance be a barrier to forging connections. Use technology to your advantage – video calls, instant messaging, and collaboration tools can replicate the feeling of working side by side. When geography is no longer an obstacle, relationships can thrive based on shared values, interests, and aspirations.

Foster transparency by keeping everyone informed about project updates, changes in direction, and team goals. This includes sharing both successes and challenges. Transparency builds a sense of unity and trust, as everyone is on the same page, regardless of their physical location or employment status. Regular team meetings and updates provide a space for open dialogue, allowing everyone to contribute their insights and concerns.

Growth is a journey, and it’s one best taken together. Encourage skill-sharing and knowledge exchange between full-time and contingent team members. This not only enhances everyone’s skill set but also provides opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas. The process of learning becomes a binding force that strengthens relationships.

In the grand tapestry of modern work dynamics, contingent team members weave vibrant threads that enrich the final masterpiece. By embracing the human touch, we transcend the transactional nature of work and establish connections that stand the test of time. It’s about recognizing the individual behind the role, and acknowledging the value they bring to the team.

So, whether you’re working across time zones or collaborating virtually, remember that the human touch is a universal language that transcends boundaries. By fostering meaningful relationships with contingent team members, we not only enhance our professional endeavors but also create a network of support and camaraderie that enriches our lives.

How we can help

Zelos Team Management is a simple app for contingent workforce management. Its core features like self-scheduling and live messaging are a perfect way to empower a contingent team. With less time spent on administrative errands, managers can focus on bringing the human touch to team management.

Get in touch with our team for a personal demo, or get started for free in our self-service.