The importance of fostering company loyalty in your contractors

October 05, 2011
The importance of fostering company loyalty in your contractors

Having loyal and happy employees at your company is a great source of free marketing and PR. You can’t put a value on the benefits of having your employees share with everyone how great your company is to work for. This praise automatically transfers to your products or services, too.

And that’s gold, solid gold.

So it’s a real shame that it’s happening less and less these days. Why? Because today the employee is passé and the contractor is King and Queen. Contractors are perceived to be better value than employees in today’s economic climate—especially those employees who have racked up a few years service and the associated annual salary increases. Then there are the added costs of offering employees a decent healthcare and pension plan. It soon adds up. Factor in the Great Recession, and it’s easy to see why companies have been dropping employees like hot potatoes and filling the void with contractors. Not only do contractors have to facilitate their own benefits, they also tend to work for cheaper rates (it’s a competitive market) and are easier to get rid of should the orders dry up or a short-term project comes to an end.

It’s a trend that’s set to continue, but there’s a trade off.

Contractors tend to be less engaged and loyal to the companies they work for. Overtime will always be paid (just try asking a contractor to stay behind and decorate your reception area’s Christmas tree for free this year). And without the loyalty and engagement, those free marketing and PR streams dry out pretty quickly. Also, contractor retention can be problematic, meaning a constant cycle of rehiring and training that is costly and time consuming.

To truly make hiring contractors a viable option, you need to get the same loyalty and level of engagement from them that you expect from your employees. But how do you do this? 

Traditionally, recognition and reward programs have been used by companies and organizations to reward employees only. This needs to change. With the massive increase in contractors in the workplace today, it’s vital that companies do what they can to foster loyalty and engagement from this increasingly important resource. By including contractors in your current recognition and rewards program, or by setting up a separate program for contractors, you will be making your contractors feel valued and appreciated. And you will soon begin to see the same loyalty and sense of engagement from them that you see in your employees. Retention and productivity will increase, and your company will operate much more smoothly and efficiently.

http://www.cchra.ca/en/

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