HeartContractors sometimes get a bad rap.  They’re frequently perceived as disposable – a one and done contributor.  It’s this perception that will sometimes perpetuate the contractor’s isolation from the rest of the team.  Hence, the project may get completed but could the company have gotten more?  It’s a tough question to answer for those companies accepting this lack of collaboration- it’s impossible to know what could have been.  Alternatively, ask a company who engages a contractor as one of the team, and you’ll likely find a definitive “Yes” most contractor’s will not only work harder, but they’ll often introduce new and great ideas.  The following provides 4 steps any company can take to proactively integrate a contractor (or any new employee) to maximize productivity, and minimize potential conflicts:

A Warm Welcome Please

This is a common practice for most new employees.  We want all team members to know there’s been a new hire, a little about their background, and the new role they will be filling.  It’s a method to keep everyone informed and help the employee feel more welcomed.  Don’t neglect the same action on behalf of a new contractor.  Most employees will respond with a warm welcome.

Getting To Know You

It’s human nature to want to fit into any organization or group.  Regardless of how long a contracted project should last, taking 60-90 minutes to introduce a contractor to the expanded team, the company culture, and any unique processes that will help the contractor fit in at an operational level.  This small step will help the contractor feel less like an “outsider”, and minimizes unintended disruptions with workflow.

Take a Contractor to Lunch

A one hour lunch can go a long way in getting to know a contractor as something more than a warm body with skill sets.  The more you understand a contractor at a personal level, the easier it will be to establish an open line of communication – encouraging a non-restricted exchange of ideas, and ensuring there is no such thing as a “stupid question”.

A Round of Applause

No different than a full-time employee, recognition for a job well done will usually go miles.  Throw an incentive in (monetary or soft) at the beginning of the project to encourage high performance, and you’ll likely gain an even better outcome than what was originally planned.

Contractors can be big contributors for organizations that are short on manpower.  “Showing some love” at the beginning of an assignment will result in a win-win-win for everyone, including the company.    Now let’s hear from you – What is your company doing to leverage the full value of a contractor?