An ugly debate happens almost every time a business tells its employees that some tasks are going to be outsourced with contracted help. In the electronic age with too much news too fast and a tight economy, the smallest change in a company can trigger fears in staff that people are going to be laid off and terminated as management finds ways to cut costs to get the same work. Some large companies have, in fact, followed this path, creating stories of thousands of people being terminated, only to see replacements rehired through contracting versus traditional employment.
The above said, companies big and small can easily benefit from freelance and contracted help, especially when the skillsets being hired are extremely developed beyond what would be available from internal staff resources. The idea of contracting out for specialized help is not a new one. Businesses regularly hire lawyers, engineers, accountants, and other professionals to perform specific task work that requires expertise. However, when a business steps towards contracting out non-professional license work, it suddenly triggers a specter of fear.
Companies can dilute and dismiss fears among permanent staff by clearly defining how contract staff, such as freelance writers, will complement existing staff instead of competing for their work. By making it clear what work requires specialized help on a project basis, many permanent staff will eventually be put at ease, reducing fears and returning their focus on productivity again. Communicating such planning proactively produces a number of benefits:
- It reduces and potentially eliminates animosity or passive resistance from permanent workers interacting with temporary staff.
- The communication helps define everyone’s tasks so that those involved in teams know exactly what each position should be working on.
- Companies are able to effectively harness specialized skills and help on a contract basis when needed without internal conflict.
- Permanent staff put their attention back on their work versus trying to find out if their unit is the next one to be given a pink slip.
- General angst between staff and management is reduced, improving overall communications and cooperation.
Despite leaps in technology and new tools becoming available every day, most businesses still rely on people to produce, design, create, work together, and succeed. As a result, having all staff working together cohesively is critical to a business’ productivity. This includes relationships between permanent and contracted staff. So whether hiring freelance health writers for website content or an engineer to produce a new design report, businesses that plan ahead in complementing their staff with outsourced skill do far better in the long run versus those that don’t communicate with their people.
Tom L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.