Always think how to get the most out of employees and contractors from the point of engagement through to the completion of specified work or task.
1. Consult your staff
When using employees and contractors it can be successful where there is co-operation and co-ordination between your permanent staff and the employees/contractors.
Let your staff understand the advantages of hiring or using more employees/contractors by setting out any benefits for them, eg. they can get on with the core business.
2. Exercise care when hiring
Always take references and talk to others to determine an employee’s/contractor’s competence.
Check qualifications, skills, membership of relevant trade or professional bodies, quality standards and accreditations.
Find out the employee’s/contractor’s policies for health and safety.
If you use employees/contractor’s on a regular basis, think about setting up a database of employees/contractors who you know and trust and also for future references.
3. Have a written agreement
Agree in writing:
- the employee’s/contractor’s responsibilities
- the objectives, scope of the work and key deliverables (goals), eg in a project schedule with milestones resources you must provide if the employee/contractor needs access to your equipment and/or staff
- fees and a payment schedule – you may wish to consider penalty or incentive schemes for under-performance or over-performance
- a procedure for resolving disputes, eg review or termination
- confidentiality agreements
You have certain legal responsibilities when you engage contractors/subcontractors and you should agree a contract for services that will help you to discharge those duties. You should seek legal advice on this.
4. Manage the work
You should manage and supervise the employee’s/contractor’s work, seek evidence of work done and check that contractual obligations are met. And always raise any issues at the earliest opportunity. A good example is to assign tasks with clear outcomes, time frame and deadline. This way, you can measure the performance of your employees and contractors. When assigning tasks through email, you could write it down in this format
1. Desired Outcomes – (The expected output of the task)
2. More Detail – (Explanation about the task and possible recommendation on how to do it)
3. Timeframe – (No. of hours/minutes that the task is expected to be completed)
4. Deadline – (Date or Time that the task should be completed)
We find these steps to be effective in getting the best out of our employees and contractors.
How does your company get the best out of your employees?