Belonging drives organisational success and performance across all levels. When contractors appreciate how their individual work helps to advance a client’s goals and feel like they belong to the team at the same level as permanent employees, they will likely be more engaged, more motivated, and perform at a higher level. According to a report on belonging by Deloitte, belonging is the result of the following for workers: feeling comfortable at work, feeling connected to the people they work with, and feeling that they contribute meaningful work outcomes.
While 62% of the people we surveyed said they already feel connected to other contractors, another large number - almost half - disagreed. This might be surprising to some employers, since contractors are typically thought of as being more independent and requiring less facetime to feel comfortable in their career, and it is a clear issue which needs to be addressed.
But why do some contractors in the technology and digital industries struggle to establish a connection with their peers? One answer might be the lack of a common platform where they could come together as a community to exchange ideas or advice - especially as we move into a post-pandemic world, where remote working threatens to isolate freelance workers even further.
of contractors felt that they were connected to other contractors.
of contractors felt disconnected.
including social events, learning workshops, and/or virtual guest speakers to network and socialise.
It is interesting to note that of the respondents who answered no to this question, the industry who felt this the most was the Internet of Things with 46% of respondents feeling disconnected from other contractors.
It is fantastic to see that a wide majority of IT contractors do feel connected to the permanent teams they work with. As employers, you know that well-connected teams are often the key to a project’s success, allowing for a free exchange of knowledge and ideas which enables them to get the job done quicker and solve problems more easily. Making sure your contractors fit in with their permanent colleagues is an essential part of driving this connectivity and, in turn, productivity.
Many project teams, however, often work in silos - forming strong connections, yes, but only within their specific bubble. An argument could be made for the need to bring in connection between teams in order to share resources and knowledge even more widely. And with over 88% of the survey respondents globally saying it’s important or highly important for them to feel connected to permanent teams, it looks like this is the next step organisations will need to take.
of contractors felt that they were connected to permanent employees.
of contractors felt disconnected.
Contractors feel most connected to permanent employees working in Government / Public Sector where 67% felt connected.
The Manufacturing sector is where contractors feel the biggest disconnect, with a third of contractors feeling disconnected from permanent employees.
Overall, not only do contractors feel that they are connected to permanent teams, but 88% felt that it was important or highly important to feel connected.
Creating a sense of belonging for your temporary team members can massively improve the quality of the outcomes you’ll receive. Providing opportunities for contractors to network and socialise with permanent teams and other freelancers is essential to ensure their wellbeing while they work on a project at your organisation.
Here are a few ways you can work to make your contractors feel connected and included:
Providing a social media or communication channel for everyone to exchange ideas.
Organising social events outside of work, whether online or in person.
Hosting training sessions or webinars to learn from other contractors or guest speakers.