Legendary leadership coach Ken Blanchard claims that while “in the past a leader was a boss… today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”
In order to be successful with a large contingent workforce, managers must be partners with their laborers, not bosses.
Turnover and retraining are expensive. Your human capital is the most expensive machine on your floor. Workers’ productivity can drastically change based on their emotional state. They’re incredibly expensive to replace.
One of the challenges for a company is to become an “employer of choice.” An employer of choice is a company that other companies’ employees will leave their job to come and work for. With the current high national turnover rate, being an employer of choice is especially important for companies using outsourced labor. If you are an employer of choice, you are much more likely to attract good talent and keep the talent developing in your factory or warehouse.
How do you become that?
Treating the human capital element of your operation like humans is part of it. Offering benefits and pay that allow workers to make ends meet, providing ergonomic improvements to your workspaces, and fostering trust and communication between floor managers and contingent laborers set you apart from other employers.
It’s important to remember that it doesn’t cost anything to pat someone on the back. Make your company feel like a family and you’ll retain more workers. People don’t leave families, they leave jobs.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
Feedback is another threshold concept in Ken Blanchard’s leadership philosophy. It’s the key to understanding what’s working and what isn’t. It’s important to design the work around your people instead of forcing people into the less-than-optimal conditions required by your work. Ergonomically modifying your workspaces makes it easier for your employees to work in an area and can improve a contingent worker’s likelihood to remain with your company. Even if it’s as simple as putting a cushioning mat down in an area or moving a watercooler closer to a work zone, getting feedback from the people on the floor about the strengths and weaknesses of the space you operate in can help you retain more outsourced workers and decrease turnover. People will feel happier going to work because they’ll be more comfortable at work.
Ultimately, retention pays companies. When leaders do figure it out, when they can retain more people, it shows up in their lower cost per unit going out the door. It’s a business decision (as well as a human decision) to treat people right, with kindness and respect. It’s not just cultural, that treatment pays the company.
When you partner with Smart Solutions to meet your contingent labor needs, you also receive coaching on how to improve your company culture. Such coaching will help you change your work culture from us versus them to a trusting and loyal family. Smart Solutions will provide a Professional Onsite Strategist that takes the feedback from your floor and analyzes it, creating solutions that work for workers and management. So, both you and your workers start and finish each day feeling motivated, energized, and capable of achieving your goals.
Learn how Smart Solutions can help you transform your culture to feel like family so your workers will work harder and stay longer.