As the demand for contingent staff grows, so too do the demands on managers, who now need to be well equipped to manage a blended workforce. When only one in five frontline managers have the top-rated skills needed to manage their staff well, adding a team with varying hours and motivations into the mix doesn’t bode well for most team leaders.
To help adjust to the changing work environment and create a cohesive and collaborative team, here is a list of some easy steps to take to manage blended workforces more effectively.
What Are Blended Workforces?
Any team made up of a combination of permanent and flexible staff becomes a blended workforce. The dynamics of teams working together when their hours and motivations for coming to work differ, presents a new set of challenges that managers are facing more and more frequently.
Why Do Blended Workforces Require Different Management Styles?
When teams are working together all day every day, getting an understanding of how to motivate and unify them is much simpler than if you are only spending a day or two together each week. Additionally, meeting the needs of flexible staff and ensuring that they are all up to speed with what has been going on when they’re not around requires a different approach to the one you might take with permanent staff.
Tips For Managing A Blended Workforce
The key to managing a blended workforce is in a manager’s ability to have a flexible approach while delivering consistent support and communication to all members of a team. Here are four ways this can be done.
Set Clear Targets
In a Gallup poll survey 21% of employees see the quality of their work improve when their goals are clearly defined. Faced with a blended workforce, managers need to be mindful of how they can clearly and consistently communicate what you want done and how to reach both your permanent and contingent workers. This may mean moving from weekly team meetings, to individual catch ups, or a central place where directions and updates can be accessed at any time.
Show Them How Their Contributions Matter
Showing both your full-time and flexible workers where they fit into the bigger picture business results helps them find consistent motivation to do a great job. This kind of support and encouragement should not be reserved for your permanent team. Everyone in the blended workforce has a reason for showing up to work. If you can tap into that driver and link it back to company goals, you’re sure to get the best from your entire team.
Help Them Know Their Role
Not everyone on your permanent team will understand why flexible staff are being brought in, and this can cause tensions. It’s important you communicate the importance of each team member’s role and how they will complement and support each other. Taking the time to understand any hesitations, unify the team and nip “us and them” mentalities in the bud will help avoid misunderstanding and get everyone working together harmoniously.
Be Welcoming And Lead By Example
Contingent workers perform best when they’re made to feel valued members of the team. By going out of your way to welcome them and include them in team meetings and activities, and encouraging permanent staff to do the same, you will help create a blended workforce that can focus on working together to produce great results.