The percentage of deskless workers in workplaces is far higher than most would expect. In Australia, contingent workers are believed to comprise around 30% of the market, and that proportion is growing year on year. But according to their 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte found that only 16% of companies have policies and practices to manage a variety of types of deskless, shift-based or temp contract workers.ﾠ This paper looks at best practices that can keep your workforce engaged and motivated.
A contingent workforce includes anyone who does not have regular hours or shifts, or a talent pool of people hired on contracts, projects or fixed time periods, in contrast to full-time employment. A contingent workforce can include:
Contingent workforce management includes hiring contingent workers and managing this diverse group of people.ﾠ By definition, a contingent worker is not a permanent employee. From a financial point of view, a contingent worker will not enjoy the same employee benefits as full-time employees or non-contingent workers, such as:
A vendor management system encompasses a whole range of HR processes, yet in some organisations, these functions lie outside of formal HR responsibilities:
health and safety
compliance and risk
While many of the work-from-home hybrid workforce have coped fairly well with the disruption caused by Covid, the same is not true for shift-based, deskless and frontline contingent workers, they have not enjoyed the same employee benefits in their workforce models. For example, 20% of Victoria’s private residential care facilities were infected with Covid, with deskless and shift based workers contributing about half of these infections. The subsequent self-quarantine, illness and loss of shifts had impacts on both employees and employers. Fortunately, new technology is assisting any contingent workforce program to limit the work impact of events like the pandemic, while increasing the benefits of greater workforce engagement and motivation on any contingent worker.
Contingent workforce management best practices need to start with understanding the key challenges for a contingent workforce and promoting positive employee experiences. Challenges include:
communicating to a dispersed, non-permanent, mobile workforce
supporting workers, no matter how brief their employment
improving visibility over staff
streamlining administration that permanent workers take for granted
enabling worker autonomy over shifts and schedules.
The rise of the gig economy and Covid have reinforced some key contingent workforce trends. The talent pool of younger workers have unique expectations, technology is interwoven in their lives and they expect HR and procurement teams to provide tech solutions that are convenient, seamless and productive. Smart companies have embraced contingent workforce management software to relieve the pressure from administrators, improve communication and reduce micromanagement, while giving workers greater autonomy.
HR and procurement teams have every reason to make their contingent workforce as effective as possible. Gallup’s recent State of Global Workforce report cites “17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability when employees are motivated and engaged”. And what are casual workers’ top two criteria? Predictable pay and flexibility. They want a guaranteed number of hours to meet their needs, but also the flexibility to juggle families, study, sport and lifestyle. A mobile app solution is often the most effective means of motivating and engaging a contingent workforce. This:
meets their interest in technology
allows them to schedule their day and plan their work hours
enhances communication with managers about shifts
lets them log their hours
makes it easy to administer their work life.
We’ve all witnessed in recent times the challenges of sudden Covid lockdowns, border closures and changing workplace regulations. Contingent workforce management software can ease the burden on employees and employees, by allowing:
an effective communication app to keep up-to-the-minute on changes
a mobile, highly efficient means of adjusting shifts and rosters
a digital hub for community-building.
When you are employing contingent workers, Covid compliance can be checked easily to ensure compliance with the latest health and employer standards.
Giving contingent workers more autonomy and flexibility over their shifts directly improves their work-life balance and engagement. Work-life balance was rated as the highest important value to Australian contingent workers in this study by Weploy. Facilitating easier communication allows managers to recognise and reward great work. It improves both one-on-one and teams’ connections. Overall, workforce management best practice is to improve the employee experience of contingent employment.
‘I used to dread Mondays,’ says Allisha Barratt, General Manager, Rose of Australia, a hotel in inner Sydney. When Humanforce brought their payroll in-house, she went from all-day rostering and payroll grind to about an hour. ‘We’re actually saving time and money on processing, even though we have more staff.’ When manual mistakes don’t happen with rosters, staff are happier, there are fewer costs, risks can be mitigated in advance and the pub is never short-handed on shifts anymore. It’s a win-win.
Using contingent workforce management software allows to you:
adapt rapidly to Covid changes for your frontline, shift-based workforce
improve the employee experience of your contingent workers
motivate and engage and retain your contingent workforce
assist your workforce to comply with Covid and other regulations.
Apart from benefits for your contingent workforce, using contingent workforce management best practices, including software, has benefits for employers, including:
slash your administration costs and time
reduce manual rostering and payroll errors
keep in touch with a mobile, flexible workforce on the go
get your managers back to managing people.