18 Apr Extending your culture: 5 ways including the extended workforce improves company culture
In today’s business landscape of talent sourcing and management, tapping into the extended workforce to access highly sought-after skills and talent is becoming increasingly common. With outsourcing and contingent workers on the rise, it’s crucial for organizations that prioritize their extended talent strategy to create a positive company culture that incorporates all workers – full-time and extended alike.
People integration needs to utilize tech that works and expands as new challenges arise, and while these integrations used to present some issues in past, as legacy VMS technology evolved, a new generation of future-proof solutions is breaking these barriers down, enabling a more unified talent ecosystem and integrations that are seamless, integrated, and agile.
The Rise of the Extended Workforce and Its Impact on Company Culture
With the rise of the gig economy, more and more companies are relying on an extended workforce to meet their needs alongside their full-time employees.
Why is treating the extended workforce like full-time employees important for positive company culture?
Freelancers already make up to 50% of an average company’s workforce, and those numbers are anticipated to rise to over half of the U.S. workforce by 2027. As a result, contingent workers will play an increasingly significant role in shaping their work environments. To avoid the risks associated with failing to take these swelling statistics and upcoming changes into account, organizations can take steps to improve the relationship with a significant source of impact. The gains are poised to outweigh the discomfort of change as the talent pool grows, high turnover rates are avoided, and brand loyalty increases.
5 Strategies for Maintaining a Positive Company Culture with an Extended Workforce
Communication is key
Clear communication between management, full-time employees, and the extended workforce can sound obvious, but with many moving parts, global teams, and shifting timelines, it can be a challenge. Contingent workforce management tools can be incredibly helpful in situations where you need to clearly define expectations and build rapport and trust with your remote workers. Take extra steps to include feedback that goes both ways.
Emphasizing diversity and inclusion
Cultural factors are catching up to pay as priorities for the extended workforce. Emphasizing diversity and inclusion is critical to maintaining a positive company culture and building a sense of belonging among all workers, contingent talent included. A genuine plan for diversity and inclusion can attract workers, but more importantly for costs, it helps retain sought-after contingent talent.
Mitigate bias by embedding inclusion in the everyday
Initiatives created for diversity and inclusion can be considered a first step, but a more meaningful approach is ensuring that besides seminars and training, bias is being handled, recognized, and actively minimized every day. According to a recent study by Deloitte, the #1 factor in perceived inclusion by workers is what leaders say and do. While organizational and team leaders may not identify with a group or individual, being aware that biases exist, and actively demonstrating inclusive behaviors during everyday conversations and work activities make up to 70% difference.
Encouraging collaboration and teamwork
By providing extended workers and full-time employees an opportunity to work together as a team, leaders create a seamless experience where collaboration, growth, and culture naturally follow. Understanding the stressors and challenges of extended workers can go a long way to making them feel more included and appreciated. Being considerate of how they are viewed by the internal team is necessary. For example, highly specialized external talent is often seen as accessed for projects seen as more creative or innovative.
To dispel any negative perceptions, team leaders can ensure their full-time employees feel like they are stakeholders in the success of a project. Involving them in the decision-making process or assigning them to a new teammate ensures a level of support and inclusion straight away.
Understanding the role of technology
As workforce patterns continue to shift, one often underutilized tool is a well-developed management system. Being able to manage your entire extended workforce on one platform speeds up efficiency in hiring and onboarding, builds communication, increases ROI, improves compliance and control, and works to simultaneously create trust inside the organization. It’s these moving pieces that end up improving and maintaining the positive company culture you want.
Two sides on one coin: Brand reputation and positive company culture
The strategies above not only provide a simple roadmap to better quality of sourced talent but similarly to full-time employees, your extended workforce also builds your organization’s reputation. Being recognized as a brand that has a holistic approach to staffing and talent management will ensure that people will seek you out and it will also attract well-rounded people for whom these factors are important, furthering total talent success.