The times they are a changin'
Posted on 26 February 2016
Some time ago, we shared our thoughts on the key changes affecting the contracting world in 2014. This week, I took some time to reflect on those changes and while some are still relevant, others have evolved at pace over the last two years. It feels like it is timely to revisit these industry adjustments and once again delve into how to stay at the forefront of an agile game.
The importance of onboarding
Wherein the past, organisations treated contractors as short term resources with minimal onboarding and socialisation into teams, many organisations today have much more enhanced cultural embedding processes and expectations. Noting the significant importance of this phase, we are seeing local businesses integrate their contract and permanent onboarding processes and treat both the same. As a result, contractors should plan for and actively participate in formal onboarding and induction programmes - these will help set you up for success in the role and build more substantial and meaningful relationships.
One of the gang
Once onboard, leading organisations are also beginning to offer contractors learning and development opportunities, albeit at your cost, although often subsidised. Time to attend these courses can be negotiated with your hiring manager, often on an understanding that you make up the lost time. Similarly, attendance at other team events and development sessions are now extended to contractors in an attempt by hiring managers to create a more effective and cohesive team dynamic. Avail yourselves of such opportunities and use these sessions to develop your networks within the organisation.
Shifting goal posts
As organisation priorities change, it is natural that your project or your project deliverables may change to realign with this new direction. Heightened governance and a more laser-focused awareness on benefit realisation will continually challenge project prioritisation. As previously blogged, there are many factors that can instigate changes - be aware of these and use the identified strategies to always keep on top of matters.
Organisations are in a continual state of flux. There has been a marked increase in mergers and acquisitions; creation of shared services entities and partial divestments. These business activities create programmes and projects that are generally resourced through a contracted workforce. Do not be surprised if you end up in a very different organisation from the one you were hired through. It is imperative you ensure that your contract terms and conditions are enduring as you transition entities.
As a contractor it is your responsibility to be aware of this changing landscape and be agile enough to navigate this. An understanding of this changing environment equips you to be appropriately prepared to take the best course of action necessary to ensure your continued success in your contracting engagements. Let us know if we can assist you in anyway should you encounter challenges to navigate organisations in a state of continual change.