When talking about a project where you have to find people who will work for you, you surely want to do it right. However, the rules and expectations are different when you're hiring independent contractors. Keeping an independent contractor interested and excited about working when they don't even get perks like bonuses or benefits remains the question. Furthermore, it would be best to learn how to motivate a contractor whom you don't have formal authority over.
Once you have identified and talked with an independent contractor, establishing a successful working relationship is the next important step to undertake. Always keep in mind that managing an independent contractor is significantly different from supervising your employees' workforce. Before we further discuss successful independent contractor management, let's figure out who to build rapport with independent contractors.
When you say an independent contractor, you refer to a person or a business that performs services, produces products for another company, or produces outcomes under a written or implied agreement or contract. To determine whether you can classify a worker as an independent contractor, you need to determine whether there is the power to control.
Independent contractors are not subject to the client's control or direction unless otherwise stated in a contract. An independent contractor decides how the contracted services are to be provided and also negotiates deliverables and deadlines. All the decisions about product or service production are made by the contractor, as long as it meets customer expectations.
So, how can you manage an independent contractor successfully? Luckily, Access Doors and Panels have compiled four tips for successful independent contractor management in this blog. Read until the end to know how you can improve your construction management.
Tips for Successful Independent Contractor Management
1. A Binding Contract to Define Work
Your employees have job descriptions in their contracts to define their responsibilities. For independent contractors, you can apply the same method. When engaging independent contractors' services, you would have to draft a scope of work (SOW) or a written contract for the project or job to be done. You can use the responsibilities stated in the agreement to set boundaries and provide guidelines for measuring performance.
The SOW is critical in independent contractor management because it will provide a foundation for a good working relationship. Including a timeframe and payment terms in the SOW is also a crucial step. Moreover, you can also add a process for managing changes to the project, timeline, and budget. Once you already have a solid plan, things will go smoothly when the project starts. By defining a process upfront, you will save time when bumps occur along the way.
2. Regular and Clear Communication
Before any work begins with the project, it is essential to establish a process for communicating progress with your independent contractor. Are you going to require weekly phone calls or progress reports? When you have consistent communication, you will resolve any issues that may arise, and the goals and expectations with you and the contractor will be aligned. You can keep your project on track by setting up regular check-ins or reports.
Moreover, if there are multiple departments or business units involved in the project, you have to select a single contact point for the contractor. This method will help your contractor avoid delays if they have to wait for approvals and reviews from multiple parties. To best facilitate communication, you should consider using a shared workspace or a folder on your VPN. If you don't have any workspace yet, talk to your independent contractor before the project and establish what will work best. The contractor you select might be able to recommend a system they already have in place for shared communication and collaboration.
3. Discussing Project Measurements and Milestones
By setting up measurements and milestones, your project will move smoothly from start to finish. First, you have to define success measures. Choose ways and metrics that are accessible, relevant, and timely. Remember that even if you want the work completed on a specific date, there are other ways to define success.
The second important step is setting clear milestones. Why is this so? Benchmarks will provide fixed targets and help you ensure that the independent contractor is making consistent progress towards the goal you have set. If you want to track milestones and achievements, consider using a shared calendar through your internal systems, project management software, or even calendar tools.
4. Always Focus on the Bigger Picture
When working with independent contractors, you are not just managing your business-- you are also managing a business relationship, not an employer-employee relationship. You do not account for the hours the contractors work in the day. However, you can still measure their performance by the work they produce, their interactions with you and with your other teammates, and how they manage the job.
To Sum Everything Up
Keep in mind that independent contractors can control where and when they work and how they would want to accomplish the project agreed upon in the contract. While the project is ongoing, there is the possibility of having differences either between you and your contractor or among your contractors if you have more than one. Although it is vital to keep these differences in mind when you decide to engage independent contractors, you can still ensure that your hire's independents are working productively towards a successful outcome. These tips will benefit both of you if you consider these four tips discussed above.
Instead of just reinventing the wheel with every new engagement that you have, you should start developing a standard process for engaging and managing independent contractors. Having a defined process will help you adopt a uniform approach to measuring performance. You will also identify the most successful contractors you might consider hiring in the long run or go to for help for future opportunities.
Are you seeking a reliable contractor that can help you with your construction project? Visit www.accessdoorsandpanels.com today and see how we can help you.