How to manage contractors effectively

How to manage contractors effectively

With everything that’s going on in the world, the way that we manage our people has really been put into perspective. This is especially true for those who work within our organisations on a contractual or remote basis.

A lot of work within construction has been ground to a halt as we try to navigate the situation, however with things beginning to open back up and operations returning to normal, there are some lessons we can learn from the current period.

From people management to safety procedures, the current times have really allowed us time to reflect on how we manage our teams. We’re looking at how you can manage contractors effectively, during coronavirus and beyond, in order to get the most from your people and uphold compliance at all times.

Find the right contractors

Naturally, a big part of managing contractors effectively, is ensuring that you have the right people to start off with. 8% of the Australian workforce are contractors, meaning that there is some great talent out there to choose from.

The first step is to ensure that you’re working with the right people. When looking for contractors, it’s important to verify who they are and what their experience is. Looking for things like insurance details, permits to work, previous contracts and important documentation is essential. 

This is where a contractor management system can come into play and ensure that best practices are met when signing a contractor on. It’s not only the legal implications that need to be met, but the professional ones too. Ensuring that you have the right contractors for the job is the first step to a successful contractor management plan.

Ensure they are onboarded correctly

Traditionally, onboarding is thought of as something that is essential for long-term, full-time workers, but potentially not as important for contractors. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Contractors need to be effectively onboarded too, in order to make sure that you get the most from your people and remain compliant at all times.

The stats that you normally hear about onboarding are to do with employee retention, which isn’t always as essential when you’re working with contractors. What is interesting though (and is commonly missed off the list of stats) is that onboarding effectively can improve performance by up to 11%.

Investing in your onboarding process is well worth the time, effort and financial cost when it comes to getting the payback from your people. You’ll find it a lot easier to manage your people if they’re fully onboarded, know exactly what is expected from them and are comfortable in their surroundings.

Keep them in the know

When it comes to working with contractors, it’s sometimes hard to predict what information they have to hand. In this sense, it’s a good idea to establish early on what kind of knowledge they have and where they might need to freshen up before they begin.

Keeping them in the know is a crucial part of managing contractors, and will increase their value contribution ten-fold. This starts by keeping them as up to date with the scope of the contract from the beginning of the project and throughout, and means updating them with any of the need-to-know information that might be important.

There are some great ways you can do this, even if your contractors are working remotely. E-learning audio and video content is a sure fire way to ensure that contractors are well educated, and allows you to tick that compliance box without having to move from the comfort of your office.

Give them ownership 

Remember that although contractors are working for you on this project, they actually work for themselves. This means that they’re probably independent-minded people who are happy to take care of business where appropriate.

Giving your contractors the space to own their work and manage it effectively within reason, is a great move. With a contractor management system, this step becomes a lot easier. All of your contractors will have a log-in to the contractor management software, which removes any and all complexities associated with paper-based systems. It will also ensure that your contractors supply you with the relevant information.

Data-entry is significantly reduced and contractors can take ownership of their administration. This saves you time and money, and gives the contractor full ownership of their project – it’s a win win.

Check in regularly

Did you know that 40% of the Australian workforce feel lonely at work? This can be especially true of contractors. Keeping in touch helps to combat this, and keeps everyone happy and productive whilst they work for you.

A check in doesn’t have to be face to face, it can be via email or call but it just means that they know you’re there for them. Checking in regularly also means that you can keep on top of everything that is going on and report back to stakeholders accordingly.

Having a handle on the day to day operations isn’t always easy when you have a million and one other things to do, but having a contractor management system helps to combat this.

Contractor Management Systems That Work For You

At Beakon we don’t believe in a one size fits all solution to any business challenge. Your business and your contractors are unique, and therefore your needs are unique too. Discover how you could optimise your contractors with a contract management system that saves you time and money and boosts your level of compliance.

Get in touch today to learn more!