Make Them Stay: Addressing the High Turnover Rate of Contingent Workers

Workforce team having a huddleBusiness leaders from all over the world are expanding their contingent labor pool. The 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, a research firm, surveyed more than 7,000 business leaders from 130 countries. It reported that 51% of organizations plan to hire more contingent workers in the next 3 to 5 years.

Despite the growing dependence on gig work, Workforce, a digital human resource publication, says many companies treat contingent workers differently from permanent staff. This stems largely from the nature of their work; a short stay and higher pay pave the way for less-than-ideal treatment at work. For instance, some businesses exclude contingent workers from training courses and social events.

The result is a massive turnover rate — something your business should avoid.

Contingent Employee Turnover Rates

The American Staffing Association (ASA) reported that the turnover rate for temporary and contract employees increased from 352% in 2016 to 386% in 2017. In other words, an average contingent role was occupied by 3.5 people in a year.

Bear in mind that low employee retention rates not only drives company costs up. It also decreases productivity. You might even get bad reviews from former contingent employees. So, let’s discuss ways to improve the retention in your contingent workforce.

Improve Onboarding Processes

Cask, LLC, a provider of human resource solutions, says getting contingent workers onboard and productive is more important now than ever. These rest on the effectiveness of your onboarding process.

So, go the extra mile by explaining the temporary employees’ short- and long-term goals. Encourage them to be open about anything they don’t understand. On the first few days, drop by their stations and ask feedback on the workplace environment. It’s advisable, too, to complete forms before day one, so the contingent worker can accomplish more important tasks.

Additionally, define the role accurately. A clear job description helps the contingent worker adjust and perform well. It also helps you gauge his or her performance. Make sure that the contingent worker agrees with the scope and parameters of the work.

Introduce and Involve Them

Contingent workers want to be treated like everybody else. They don’t just want to receive tasks; they want to understand the purpose behind them, as well.

So, share the company’s mission and vision, no matter the length of their stay. This goes beyond giving them a document containing the core values. Discuss how their work contributes to the company’s goals, so they’ll feel more involved and motivated.

Additionally, pay attention to engagement. Contingent workers want to feel like they’re part of the company. So, invite them to company events, surveys, and even short training programs. Encourage your employees to interact with them, too.

Prepare the Managers

Managers usually focus on process, while contingent workers focus on deliverables. This mismatch may affect the productivity of the office.

Prepare your managers. They’ll need the skills to handle a different kind of employee. Lay down the metrics and regulations for contingent workers. Teach them to engage the temporary staff. Managers, after all, are responsible for 70% of the difference in employee engagement across business units.

Contingent workers contribute much to your company. They’re so valuable that you might even hire more of them in the coming years. It’s best to create a positive company culture that embraces contingent workers as early as now.