6 Ways to Make Your Contractors Feel Like Part of the Team

Sometimes your business needs a helping hand. Contractors can give you the extra assistance your business needs to achieve its goals. The purpose of a contractor is to work independently while maintaining your company’s standards of service. 

6 Ways to Make Your Contractors Feel Like Part of the Team

Although they work independently, contractors still fulfill a role within the company, even if only on a per-project basis. Yet the nature of contracted work can sometimes feel isolating. So it’s important to make sure anyone you hire feels like part of the team. Here’s how you can develop ways to integrate everyone into your company’s culture.

1. Use a Unified Management Platform

In a broad sense, personnel management platforms are great for keeping in touch with workers of all categories and roles. A unified platform for payment, management, and/or communication with talent creates a kind of “town hall.” There are numerous platforms available that specialize in these different tasks, and you can use them in tandem or independently.

Placing all of your workers on such a system together can build, even subconsciously, a sense of connection and camaraderie among them.

For example, you can use a company intranet page to share news and offer portals to various company apps. You can incorporate a link to each department, host a company blog, and even share the company’s social media posts. You can even include a portal to the billing department for contractors. 

It’s possible that you will use different programs to manage payments for independent contractors versus full-time workers. But overall communication is best kept to the same platform so everyone feels included. 

2. Familiarize Yourself With Tax Guidelines for 1099 Employees

Your relationship with Uncle Sam is different when you’re paying contractors. Contractor payment programs differ from those you use for employees because of specific tax guidelines for each. It’s important to take good care of those who work with you by making sure you comply with tax rules. Be sure to work closely with your HR and account receivable departments to prevent legal penalties and fees. 

Paying contractors involves more than just issuing a 1099. You’ll need to report those payments to the IRS as well. While the IRS does not require contractors to report income under $600, you should still issue them a 1099. 

In any case, you need to ensure that you are reporting all payments properly and complying with U.S. legal guidelines. Repeated issues can affect your reputation and cause quick turnover with subsequent contractors as they steer clear of your business.

3. Maintain Regular Communication

Contract work is done independently, so a worker may not need you to check in while they are performing their duties. Contractors are doing work for your company, however, so consistent communication from your team is key. Keeping in touch with contractors builds rapport so they not only feel included, but also invested in doing good work. No matter what that work entails, you’ll see your contractors fit in better with a directly accessible line of communication.

It also helps encourage them to communicate more often from their side as well, allowing productive discussion between both parties. Incorporating HR software into the work process will take communication with your contractors to the next level. HR software gives contractors and employers a central hub for communication and assignment management, including instant messaging. By using HR software, employers can also track the progress of contractors' work and monitor their performance to ensure they are meeting expectations.

Regular check-ins through the software can also help to build a stronger relationship with your contractors, improving their engagement and commitment to your company's goals. Check out Sense HR, an HR software system in UK with flexible worker types that makes it possible to connect everyone from seasonal workers to full-time employees to accommodate the modern workforce.

Issues are more likely to become non-issues if you can quickly deal with them as soon as they arise. The more open and honest you are with your contractors, the more open they will be with you. 

4. Develop a Welcoming and Comprehensive Onboarding Process

Once you hire a contractor, the onboarding process is their first personal impression of the company and its immediate culture. This is an essential opportunity to invite them into it — the process needs to be informative, stimulating, and seamless.

Take care, however, that presentations and tutorials do not rely too heavily on praise of the company over its employees. Instead, they should be introductions to company values and daily routines as well as instruction on performance at work.

This is also a good time to present your contractors with various sources of support and workplace guidance for reference. Personal, one-on-one interactions in particular are a great way to provide a sense of familiarity and friendliness during day-to-day operations.

Let them know whom to call for common questions regarding performance, quality control, billing, and project management. 

5. Include Them in All-Hands Meetings and Relevant Company Business

Extend an invitation to contractors for relevant meetings and important gatherings focused on company operations. For instance, if potential company changes are relevant to contractors, invite them to the discussions rather than telling them afterward. 

Being part of an in-person meeting promotes personal interaction, discussion, and integration with other employees. It can also more precisely inform contractors about the evolving situation so they can work with as much information as possible.

Being a part of these processes will foster a deeper sense of understanding and equality within workers of your organization. It will also allow contractors to make comments and suggestions for improvements related to the duties they are performing.

6. Invite Them to Events and Special Celebrations

For an even more personal invitation to the company culture, you could also invite contractors to celebrations like holiday parties.

Asking your contractors to company events shows them that you consider them a vital part of your workforce. It’s important to make everyone feel just as welcome in these particular social settings as in the office. Doing so cements the professional relationship between them and your team. 

Also celebrate your connection with contractors by recognizing joint achievements, successful projects, or even relationship anniversaries. A simple note, card, or celebratory meal together can help your contractors feel validated and valued. Small gestures can go a long way toward maintaining relationships. 

Businesses are filled with all types of workers from all over; naturally, you want them all to feel connected. If you are dedicated to making that effort with contractors, you’ll ultimately see the benefits in their morale and work quality.

A united, passionate workforce is integral to maintaining a business’s success no matter what kind of business it is. Take these steps to include everyone whether they work with you every day or on a per-project basis.