It is crucial for the success of companies that they put contractor well-being right at the top of their priorities. High contractor satisfaction rates will bring much greater rises in productivity than anything else that companies can do. Like in sports teams, if you keep your very best, and most productive, people happy you will be successful.
- Why companies should put contractor well-being as top priority?
- How important is contractor well-being now to companies?
- How can companies increase contractor well-being?
Why Companies Should Put Contractor Well-being as Top Priority
So, why is contractor well-being so crucial to a project? Well, a survey a while back of the top 100 US companies showed that the biggest gains in Return on Investment those companies could get is to spend more money in Information Technology. Indeed, they get a Return on Investment of $4 for every $1 they spend on IT.
Contractors Accused of Being Overpaid
Many permanent employees ‘accuse’ contractors of being overpaid. Well, multiply what your client company pays your recruitment agency for you to find out what your real value to the company is.
As they always say that the people are the most important part of any project above processes and the technology itself, that is probably underplaying it.
So, you can let permanent employees know that next time they accuse you of being overpaid.
How Important is Contractor Well-being Now to Companies
At most companies, contractor well-being is not very important. The well-being of permanent employees is very important to them. That can even be to the cost of the well-being of contractors.
But that’s crazy. Contractors typically have much more experience than permanent employees. They are much more productive. So, why do companies concentrate their efforts on permanent employee well-being when the biggest gains in productivity could be gained by keeping contractors happy?
Lessons for Project Managers from Sport
If you were in charge of a major football team would you concentrate on keeping the less productive members of the team happy? Or would you spend time making sure they were all happy? Indeed, it would probably be more crucial to make sure your very best players are happy.
It would be the same if you were in charge of a country’s best young tennis players or golfers. It would be crazy to spend all of your time on keeping the not so good tennis players and golfers happy. You would get the best results by looking more at the well-being of the very best ones. That is a policy for success.
Few Companies See Contractor Satisfaction as Important
However, very few companies do this. Indeed many companies would sacrifice contractor well-being for permanent employee well-being. It will be made clear to contractors that they are very much secondary in importance to permanent staff.
How often have you heard permanent project managers say things like “you shouldn’t need to be motivated on the money you earn?” Why? Are contractors not human beings also? You would never catch a top football manager saying that to his highly paid employees.
How Can Companies Increase Contractor Well-being?
They can increase it by taking a different attitude to them. They should not continually stress that the permanent employees are more important to them than their freelancers. It is not conducive to high productivity by letting contractors know that they are 2nd class citizens at the company. Everyone should be of equal importance on the project.
Project Managers should get rid of the idea that the money should motivate their project contractors. Why would it motivate them more than the salary that their permanent employees get? Contractors are only motivated by money when they re-negotiate their contracts.
Contractors Are Motivated by Being Appreciated for Good Work
After that their motivation comes from doing a good job for people who appreciate it. It’s the same as anyone else. As people make the biggest difference on a project in terms of productivity then it follows that you can get the greatest productivity rises by motivating your very best people.
That is so glaringly obvious. Yet it is not so obvious that permanent project managers follow this. The vast majority of them don’t. That could be a major factor in why projects usually run late, are over budget and don’t do what the business users wanted in the first place.
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