Retaining contingent workers with a people-first mindset

Retaining contingent workers with a people-first mindset

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, contingent workforce solutions play an increasingly vital role in enabling organisations to remain agile and responsive to market demands. Freelancers, contractors, and gig workers offer unique advantages, such as specialised skills, reduced overheads, and the ability to scale operations quickly.

Rishi Agrawal Thought Leader Headshot

Rishi Agrawal – Sr. Programme Manager EMEA/APAC

If you’re a business leader, the rise of the contingent workforce opens a world of possibilities and challenges. You must know how to attract and retain contractors to keep them engaged with your company through various projects.

Adopting a people-first mindset

In the past, contractors often had limited access to company resources and amenities compared to full-time employees within the same organisation. This largely had to do with co-employment risk.

However, retaining talent has become increasingly challenging. To address this, many employers have adopted a people-first mindset to ensure the satisfaction and loyalty of their temporary workers. It has significant benefits.

First of all, embracing a people-oriented approach can, in fact, help mitigate co-employment issues through clear communication and contracts. While such practises might have raised an eyebrow in the past, they are now a necessity. Pontoon, as an MSP provider, can ensure there’s no co-employment risk through hiring manager training sessions, restricting contractor access to information and monitoring and enforcing tenure policies.

Second, building stronger relationships with contingent workers lets companies maintain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining skilled professionals. Organisations are now striving to enhance the contractor experience. This shift in mindset acknowledges the valuable contributions that temporary workers make to the companies’ success.

A people-first leadership mindset can be also highly beneficial in retaining contingent workers. Even though their tenure may be brief, freelancers, contractors, and temporary staff often seek a positive and engaging work environment.

Here are a few examples of how employers can embrace people-first leadership and contribute to retaining more engaged and productive contingent workers:

Building trust and rapport through effective communication

Contingent workers appreciate leaders who value their contributions and treat them as essential team members. By establishing trust and building rapport, leaders create an inclusive and supportive work culture, which can foster a sense of belonging and increase worker loyalty.

Leaders who prioritise effective communication create an open and transparent work environment. Regularly sharing information about organisational goals, project updates, and performance feedback helps contractors feel connected and engaged with the team. Clear expectations and guidelines also minimise confusion and enhance productivity.

Providing meaningful work

When contingent workers feel their work is meaningful and aligned with their skills and interests, they are more likely to stay motivated and engaged. People-first leaders focus on understanding workers’ strengths and aspirations, and strive to assign them tasks that use their abilities and provide a sense of purpose.

Offering learning and development opportunities

Investing in the growth and development of contingent workers demonstrates a commitment to their professional advancement. Leaders can provide training programmes, mentorship, or skill-building opportunities. These initiatives enhance workers’ skills and signal that their contributions are valued and integral to the team’s success.

Contractors are motivated to stay when they perceive opportunities for career growth. For example, within one of Pontoon’s client contingent labour programmes, we achieved remarkable results. Over 25% of our contracting population either transitioned to permanent positions or received promotions/salary hikes. This demonstrates a dedication to fostering a conducive environment for contractor development.

Recognising and rewarding contributions

Acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of contingent workers can go a long way in retaining them. People-first leaders celebrate achievements, offer recognition for exceptional work, and provide meaningful rewards or reasonable incentives. This recognition fosters a positive work culture and makes temporary workers feel valued.

Soliciting feedback and acting upon it

People-first leaders actively seek feedback from their contingent workers to understand their concerns, suggestions, and needs. They create channels for open dialogue and implement changes based on this feedback. Involving contractors in decision-making processes empowers them and makes them feel like valuable organisational contributors.

How Pontoon can help

At Pontoon, we recognise the importance of adopting a people-first approach to engaging contractors, thereby increasing their likelihood of being considered for permanent roles at the client site. With our robust ecosystem comprising an advisory team and supplier partners who deeply understand our client’s culture, Pontoon effectively attracts contractors by emphasising the client’s commitment to prioritising people.

Our focus lies in advising clients on the current market needs and providing guidance on effectively retaining and attracting the best contingent talent. In an intensely competitive contingent workforce landscape, where permanent roles tend to be more appealing, we have successfully secured top contingent talent by embodying a solid people-first mindset.

Our remit goes beyond advising clients on compliance with local laws governing contractual hiring. We ensure that our overall offerings are compelling enough for individuals to consider contract roles and envision personal growth within these roles.

We understand the value of a people-first approach. With our deep understanding of client culture and commitment to prioritising people, we can help you engage contractors and increase their chances of transitioning to permanent roles.

Streamline your contingent workforce today. Contact us to discover how a people-first mindset can transform your organisation’s success. Let’s create an environment where contractors thrive and achieve personal growth and development.

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