Agile Enterprise: an organization or business that moves quickly; one that acts and reacts in a smooth and efficient manner.
In a business climate obsessed with short-term results, it’s no surprise that the word ‘agility’ has become synonymous with enterprise strategy. Engaging independent contractors has emerged as a common strategy, as they allow organizations to work more efficiently, harness concentrated bursts of expertise, and bring fast results. In recent years, this trend has tipped the scales of supply and demand in favor of these independent contractors. This means enterprises are competing for the best and brightest independent professionals, and the responsibility falls on them to be the most attractive option. Reimagining work doesn’t just mean hiring a freelancer rather than an employee. It also means structuring your business to attract and engage individuals who value flexibility and innovation.
At large organizations, however, antiquated systems often pose barriers to agility. For example, many independent contractors are faced with an enterprise’s legacy insurance requirements. Requirements which haven’t been updated to reflect the modern workforce result in unbalanced contract economics, meaning the cost of insurance outweighs the projected profit. This leaves independent contractors with two options; they can raise their rates – leaving the enterprise to subsidise their insurance costs – or they can take their talent elsewhere.
To be a competitor in the modern ecosystem, organizations must reflect on their internal processes and make improvements, with agility and speed at the center of their focus. But this doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul of company procedure. Here are a few easy steps to becoming a more agile enterprise:
- Assess Insurance Requirements
Did you know an average of 10-15% of independent contractors deny contract engagements because the requirements aren’t financially feasible? If several years have passed since you’ve reviewed your insurance requirements for suppliers, subcontractors, corp-to-corp, or independent contractors, you’ve probably contributed to this statistic. Insurance requirements play an important role in business partnerships, transitioning risk from the enterprise to the partner based on the work being performed. Realigning existing insurance requirements with peers in your industry and the contract engagement risk not only shows that your enterprise is prepared for the new way of work, but can significantly expedite business partnerships as well.Here’s a quick guide to industry standards for independent contractors:
- Rethink Project-based Talent Strategy
A change of perspective can bring new life into an organization. Infusing your organization’s full time workforce with project based contracts could be a key step to becoming more agile. Independent contractors are often able to complete projects faster than full-time employees who may be handling multiple responsibilities at a time. They also allow you to cherry pick the skills required for the specific project. Conceptualizing your goals in terms of anticipated projects, rather than job descriptions, shifts the idea of performance to allow for more concentrated expertise and quicker, higher quality results. A project-based talent strategy approach is a cognitive step towards business agility.
- Update Software Tools
With the influx of remote workers, it’s important to ensure your organization has the tools to enhance remote communication with independent contractors. Shifting from in-person to virtual meetings can dramatically decrease costs and accomplish the same amount of work. Day-to-day tools, like instant messaging apps for coworkers and partner organizations, not only lead to faster response times and work completion rates, but can increase job satisfaction as well.
- Enhance Employee Communication Skills
While incorporating independent contractors into your workforce alongside full-time employees can be difficult, educating your full-time workforce on the value of the independent contractors, how to leverage them appropriately, and encouraging their collaboration in meetings, online discussions, and projects, will create a productive and smooth environment. For example, providing positive feedback and celebrating wins with the independent contractors on your team and improving your soft skills with remote workers can advance your team’s communication and cohesiveness. Taking this advice will ensure your team keeps everyone in the loop, on the same page, and working towards the same goal.
Studies predict that over half of the workforce will engage in independent contracts within the coming decade. This represents not only a shift in the office makeup, but in the mentality of the workers. The future of work is efficient, agile, and competitive. Enterprises will have to prioritize agility if they want to keep pace with the modern workforce.
This article was provided by Bunker. Bunker provides flexible business insurance for independent contractors, freelancers, and small businesses. Visit www.buildbunker.com to learn more.