Agile Cats need a hug too. Agile People liked to be included.

animals-617305_1920Performance management should include your contractors, freelancers and consultants.

Accenture publicly announced last year their change to scrap performance reviews. Companies are scrapping their entire annual review process with more immediate feedback on performance & support.

But what about the elastic population that did not have an annual review, has it been overlooked again?

Contractors and Consultants etc are a growing-army in your organization, the people who are agile talent; communities like, are some of the leading examples of aggregated agile talent communities. Disruptive fast growth companies who are relying on buy of talent solutions rather than build are constantly engaging with communities like these.

Combined with the big push by companies to reduce salary costs and have agile resources it is not surprising that many leaders consider their contingent workforce to be growing. But how does a company leader manage the alignment of expectations and performance management of an agile contracted workforce.

Several practices that work:

Be inclusive 

So often agile talent is left out of company aspirations radar and seen as band-aids despite an increasing need to leverage these assets longer term. I have seen and worked in companies where contractors are not even invited to the annual lunch despite many serving longer than regular employees.

Data analysis vs values

Evaluating  the cost and deliverables is important and perhaps the contractors, particularly on projects, are often more measured on this aspect than permanent employees. However , consider the social fit and your company values, provide access to your companies value assessments because agile talent cares about how it is perceived how it integrated into your community; indeed social media endorsements are public (linkedin)  and this now matters for future career opportunities.

Leadership training

Ensure your current leaders know how to manage agile talent, how to maximize return and engagement, agile talent will so often go on to a new role as an extended alumni sharing their observations of your company to potential customers competitors so make sure their experience is as rewarding as a full time employee, to do this create awareness in your leaders on the importance of seeing agile talent as part of the extended talent workforce community.

Acknowledge contribution, enables reporting on assignments with likert scales for projects and tracking of costs so you can make an assessment of talent based on quality and cost. What better opportunity to motivate your agile staff than to provide ongoing public dialogue about their performance in a fair and reasonable manner.

Agile talent is now part of your future talent communities that, the dangers of not knowing how to include this extended workforce will be the future obstacles to success of talent management for leaders. Agile talent needs performance management and inclusion as much as permanent employees.