5 Ways to Make Contractors Feel Like Part of the Team
Hiring companies must devise a strategy to integrate contractors into the workplace and make them feel like part of the team.
Many companies rely on contractors to supplement their workforce in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment. These contractors bring diverse skills and expertise that can help companies achieve their goals more efficiently.
However, integrating contractors into a team of employees can be challenging, as they may need to become more familiar with the company culture or work processes. Companies must have a well-designed onboarding process, clear communication channels, and a culture that fosters collaboration and inclusivity to welcome new workers successfully.
This article explores five strategies companies can use to make contractors feel like part of the team.
5 Strategies to Integrate Contractors into the Workplace
Integrating contractors into the workforce can be a challenging task, but here are some steps that you can take to make the process smoother:
1. Explain the Company’s Expectations for Employees
Hiring companies should communicate their expectations to the contractor from the outset, such as the scope of work, timelines, deliverables, and any other essential details, including the following:
- The project’s purpose
- Clear and measurable goals
- The necessary steps to meet those goals
- Principles to guide the strategy and decision making
- Metrics to monitor performance.
2. Give Them Access to Company Information
Hiring companies should provide new workers with all the pertinent company information to help them understand the culture and how they fit into the larger picture. This information should include the following:
- The organizational structure. Organizational structures are crucial for companies because they support the implementation of effective decision-making procedures. Knowing which contractor to assign to which project based on skill level and expertise helps workers contribute more quickly, and companies finish more projects.
- Mission statements. By clearly articulating how their labor contributes to a more significant objective, mission statements help contractors understand their job’s significance and purpose.
- Company policies. Company policies establish the rules and expectations of a business through a set of internal guidelines. They assist management in explaining to workers what they can and cannot do.
3. Offer Training and Support
Management must ensure the contractor has the training and assistance to do their jobs well, including access to the following:
- Training and educational materials
- Mentorship programs
- Additional training sessions
- Opportunities for advancement
Full-time employees are more inclined to interact and work well with contractors who take the time to learn about corporate policies and work as part of the team.
A solid employee-contractor working relationship is especially crucial if the company hires one or more contractors and a group of full-time employees. Disagreements between contractors and employees are widespread, mainly when their fields of expertise overlap. However, allowing contractors to become more familiar with the business produces a more positive, team-oriented workplace.
4. Introduce Them to the Internal Team
Introducing new hires to the team they will work with, including their direct supervisor and colleagues, will help them feel more integrated into the team and foster a sense of belonging.
Steps might include the following:
- Deciding whom the contractor should meet. The hiring manager should start with those whom the contractor might encounter on their first day. If the company employs an onboarding team who helps new hires through their first weeks, they should work with the hiring manager to coordinate the necessary introductions.
- Deciding what the contractor should know. The hiring manager should coordinate with the team responsible for onboarding and determine what contractors should understand about the team and their specific roles in the organization.
- Encouraging new hires to say “hello.” Onboarding teams should suggest ways for contractors to introduce themselves to the company. These methods might include touring the office and worksite to meet employees in person or contacting them via email or Slack virtually.
5. Include Them in Team Meetings and Activities
Companies should Include the contractor in team meetings and activities to help them feel like a part of the team. Inclusion will help foster relationships with other team members and create a sense of camaraderie. More specific
- Improving collaboration. Collaborative skills, crucial on a worksite, can be enhanced through team-building exercises. Team members frequently collaborate throughout construction projects to finish duties safely. Their ability to work well with others can help them succeed in their positions.
- Fostering cross-group teamwork. Contractors typically work on projects in teams, and these groups can switch out or frequently rotate, making it challenging for individual workers to gel as a unit. Team-building events can stimulate and foster teamwork in an environment with these frequent paradigm shifts, enhancing the workplace culture and boosting productivity.
- Boosting morale. Management might consider productive exercises like competitive activities to raise morale and increase engagement. Team members are typically happier and more enthusiastic about their jobs when they feel invested in their employer, and vice versa.
- Creating a consistent and positive culture across locations. Contractors often collaborate on numerous projects on different worksites, possibly resulting in feelings of disconnect and isolation. Although the venue may change, a consistent and positive work culture through workplace activities should spread across locations to promote a cohesive workplace and a sense of belonging.
- Improving communication. Contractors can also find more effective ways to communicate with full-time employees through team-building exercises. Working together and achieving a single objective is essential to many group activities.
Making Contractors Feel Like Part of the Team is Critical to a Project’s Success
Integrating contractors into a team of employees can bring many benefits to companies, including increased flexibility and access to specialized skills. However, companies must take a thoughtful and intentional approach to onboarding and integrating contractors into their teams to maximize these benefits.
By developing clear communication channels, fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity, and providing ongoing support and feedback, companies can ensure that their contractors feel like valued team members. Ultimately, the successful integration of contractors can improve productivity, better outcomes, and stronger relationships between contractors and employees.