In today’s dynamic business landscape, the concept of a traditional 9-to-5 job has become the past. Contingent workforce like freelancers, consultants, and temporary workers, has brought about a refreshing change in how organizations approach work. However, with this change comes the challenge of cultivating engagement among a diverse and sometimes remote workforce.
Whether you’re managing freelancers, remote workers, or contract employees, it is crucial to create an environment where every member feels valued, inspired, and motivated. After all, engaged team members are not just productive, they’re also innovative powerhouses who bring their best selves to the table. So, let’s explore some strategies that will help you inspire and activate your contingent team, create an environment of phsychological safety, and foster a sense of belonging and dedication.
The power of purpose
Imagine starting a job where you’re just another cog in the machine, with no clear understanding of how your contribution fits into the bigger picture. That’s a recipe for disengagement. The same principle holds true for your contingent workforce. When people know they are part of something meaningful, their motivation skyrockets.
Every project, no matter how short-term, has a purpose. Communicate this purpose to your contingent workers. Explain how their skills and efforts contribute to the overall success of the project and the organization. Share stories of previous successful projects and highlight the impact they made. When your contingent workers see the real-world results of their efforts, they’ll be much more motivated to give their best. And this is only one item in a long list of benefits of employee engagement.
Communication is the foundation of engagement
Engagement thrives in an environment of open communication. Imagine a ship without a captain’s voice guiding it through the rough seas. Similarly, a team without clear communication can drift aimlessly. Open lines of communication form the bedrock of any successful employee engagement strategy.
Don’t just assign tasks and disappear into the background. Regularly check in with your contingent workers, listen to their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Don’t just broadcast information; encourage two-way communication. Create collaboration spaces to give them a platform to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas. When team members feel heard, they’re more likely to invest themselves in the team’s success.
By actively involving your contingent workers in conversations, you’re showing them that their opinions matter. This inclusivity fosters a sense of belonging and investment in the project. Be it through video calls, instant messaging, or project management tools, ensure your contingent workers always feel connected.
Clear goals and expectations
A journey with no destination in sight is frustrating and demotivating. Your contingent team feels the same when they’re unsure about their roles and objectives. Clearly outline their responsibilities, deliverables, and performance expectations.
When they understand what’s expected of them from the get-go, they can better align their efforts. Provide detailed project briefs, timelines, and objectives. Regularly communicate progress and changes to keep everyone on the same page.
Foster a culture of recognition
Everyone craves recognition for their efforts, and your contingent workforce is no exception. Celebrate achievements, no matter how small. When a freelancer goes above and beyond or a consultant provides invaluable insights, acknowledge their contributions. This recognition doesn’t have to be extravagant; a simple thank you note or a shout-out during a team meeting can work wonders.
Moreover, ensure credit is given where it’s due. If a contingent worker’s idea leads to a breakthrough, make sure their name is associated with that success. This not only boosts morale but also encourages others to actively participate and share their expertise.
Gamification is an ingenious way to foster a culture of recognition within your contingent team. By infusing the dynamics of games into your recognition strategy, you’ll not only inspire individual performance but also create a vibrant and collaborative work environment. Remember, the goal is to make recognition not just a routine, but a thrilling adventure that encourages your contingent team to excel.
Flexibility and autonomy
One of the major draws for many contingent workers is the flexibility they enjoy. Embrace this flexibility by allowing your workforce to work in ways that suit them best. Allow them to choose their working hours and provide the option to work remotely.
Trust them to make decisions that align with the team’s goals. This autonomy not only empowers them but also demonstrates your confidence in their abilities. Remember, trust begets trust; when they feel trusted, they’re more likely to take ownership of their roles.
Remember, a happy and comfortable workforce is a more engaged one. By giving them the freedom to balance their work with personal commitments, you’re likely to see a boost in their motivation and performance.
Invest in professional development
Imagine being in a job where there’s no room for growth. Doesn’t sound appealing, does it? Your contingent team members crave opportunities to learn and advance, just like anyone else. Invest in their professional development.
Provide access to workshops, training, and resources that enhance their skills. When they see that you’re invested in their growth, they’ll reciprocate with increased dedication and enthusiasm.
Lead by example
As a leader, your behavior sets the tone for the entire team. Demonstrate the engagement and dedication you expect from your contingent team. Show passion for your work, communicate openly, and embrace challenges as opportunities. Your enthusiasm will be infectious, motivating your team members to follow suit.
Nurturing engagement within your contingent team is an art. Each member brings unique skills and perspectives to the table, making your team a tapestry of talents. As a leader, you can inspire and activate your contingent team, and create an environment where they feel valued, motivated, and ready to contribute their best. A motivated and engaged workforce is a powerful force that can drive innovation and achieve remarkable results.
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.