are an integral part of the workforce across a wide range of services.
Especially services like
landscaping, plumbing, snow removal, HVAC,
pest control and so on which require skilled labor. But being a contingent
workforce they are normally ignored when it comes to matters like payments,
proper skills training, communicating with the client or even basic motivation
to complete the work on time. These yield to reduced efficiency and lower output
from the workforce and they consider themselves to be lesser than the permanent
employees, which in turn affects the customer satisfaction. Below are a few
points that can help you motivate your contract workforce for better output and
in turn better customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Practice an orientation process
While hiring a new
contractor, they may be unaware of the company policies, mottos, vision, and
customer interactions. Educate them just like you would do with a new employee.
Invest some time for an orientation process or even better; assign an
experienced Mentor to help the new contractor understand the processes followed
by the company. This may help them feel like part of the family which in turn
Set clear expectations
If the contractor is
new, be clear about the work expectations regarding the quality of work, the
time of completion, company processes and so on. Let them know how you are
going to evaluate them. If the contractor has already worked with you let them
know if anything has changed in accordance with your expectations or customer
requirements. Don’t proceed under the prejudice that they will have the
knowledge beforehand since they have already worked for the company.
Pay fairly and on time
contractors similar to how you would compensate an employee considering the
quality of work done. Pay them on time even if the clients haven’t paid you.
This ensures the contractors stay motivated and finish the work on time. If you
plan on conducting trials before hiring a contractor, pay them just like you
would after hiring them. This ensures they will put in a 100% during the trial
and give you a good reputation among other contractors for future references.
Even though the
contractors are more field oriented than the other employees, invite them for
team lunches and meetings whenever time permits. This helps the contractors to
mingle with other employees and makes them feel like part of the family.
Enquire about their families from time to time; engage them in small talk
before handing them the day’s work. This puts them at ease and gives you a
Provide honest feedback
Feedback is every bit
as important as the payment. Provide honest feedbacks at every opportunity,
early feedbacks in the starting stage help improve the quality of work. Be
specific and concise while providing feedback. Appreciate a job well done and
explain if anything needs to be done differently. Stick to the expectations provided
to the contractors while providing feedback, this helps them better understand
the flaws and would improve up on them.
At the end of the day
independent contractors are just as important for the company as is a permanent
employee. Skilled labor is hard to find so treat them fairly and keep them
motivated for a better future of the company.