Perhaps you’re about to start working with independent contractors for the first time, or maybe you’ve hired them many times before. Either way, it’s important to understand how to manage independent contractors. And just like with your regular employees, you need to show your ICs that you appreciate them.
The reason for this is simple: A growing number of highly skilled, experienced workers are choosing to be independent contractors. That means that increasingly, companies need external talent to achieve their objectives — whether that’s developing an innovative product, enhancing customer experience or some other goal. Making your ICs feel valued goes a long way to ensuring that you get the best work and insights from them.
So how do you manage independent contractors effectively? Keep the following tips in mind:
Show an interest in them beyond the work they’re doing for you.
Ask them about things like other projects they’ve worked on or interests they have outside of work. According to the Harvard Business Review, this demonstrates that the relationship is more than just transactional. As a result, you can build a strong relationship and enhance the chances of them wanting to work with you again in the future.
Treat them like team members.
Whether your independent contractors work remotely or onsite, don’t expect them to do everything in a vacuum just because they aren’t employees. Keep them informed about how projects are progressing, and always share good news. If they’re onsite or close by, you can even invite them to important meetings and team lunches.
Offer them work perks.
Do your independent contractors work onsite? If so, you can offer them perks such as the use of the company gym, meditation room, and fully-stocked kitchen, if applicable. However, seek advice from your legal department before doing this to make sure you’re not raising any worker classification issues. For example, you can’t offer independent contractors any kind of training.
Include them in your social networks.
Interact with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any other social networks you use. It’s also a good idea to invite them to any company groups.
Invite them to events.
As Entrepreneur advises, online and onsite events can be a great way for ICs to feel more involved with your company. Moreover, events give them the opportunity to expand their networks, which can help them attract more business.
Thank them for their contributions.
Always remember to give your independent contractors positive feedback — and to thank them for their contributions when the project is completed.
Ultimately, making your ICs feel valued isn’t challenging — it just requires your attention. And by consistently showing your appreciation, you stand a greater chance of building lasting relationships with top talent who can help your business advance.