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Which Employees do you Invite to the Christmas Party?



I have brought this out of the archives as it is that time of year and the question is asked, who are we inviting to the annual Christmas lunch, party or social event.   And perhaps the term of the year is gig worker and not agile?  I will leave that one up to you.

Who is an employee?  Is it a permanent person, part time, full time, contingent worker, freelancer, consultant, fixed term contract, remote, virtual, crowdsourced, I am sure I am missing a few categories and types of workers but this will do for a start.  So what is the definition of an employee?

Many years ago, when it was considered the norm to have a proper staff Christmas party, the definition of an employee was those that you had budgeted and invited to that party.  The UK taxman would allow £X per employee for staff entertainment, you budgeted that amount for the party and had a great time.  Today, rarely do we do staff Christmas events and even if you did who would you invite?

The Harvard Business Review has termed a phrase to encompass talent coming from outside the organisation, "agile workers".  With the variety of different "agile workers" that could potentially be in an organisation, there is a need for the CHRO and the executive team to consider what their organisation is going to do to manage, develop and ensure that the talent working within their teams is productive and representing the company values.  Equally as important is the need to ensure that processes, policies and regulatory rules are being followed to keep the organisation and their shareholders “out of the press”.  Some questions to ask to see if your executive team know how to manage the variety of workers engaged in the various business activities of your organisation.

1.    Do you have the right processes to onboard the “agile-worker” so they have what they need to be effective?  Besides the obvious, such as passwords, do they need induction for things such as programme management methodology, documentation standards, collaboration or other areas that will make the worker the best they can be?

2.    Is there a quality review process in place so you have a record of how the “agile worker” performed?  More than just a “like”, would you bring this person back into your organisation and if yes for what type of work?  Would you give them a reference to someone outside your company if asked?

3.    Do you need a “Manager of Agile Workers”?  A manager that the agile worker could go to for support on everything from hygiene factors (I have to take this compliance course but don’t have access) through to coaching on how to make them more productive in the role, to managing the quality review process as described in point two above.  The direct line manager could do these activities but this might not be the best solution, particularly since “agile workers” across the whole organisation will most likely have the same issues, support needs and ultimately quality review.  It might make sense if your organisation is a high user of “agile workers” to have dedicated talent for this process.

4.    Do you have the right procurement policies and procedures in place?  With the wide variety of “agile workers” in the marketplace, having the right procurement guidelines is important.  These will help ensure that you are treating the various types of staff, including your permanent staff, in a consistent manner in areas such as pay, training, leave or other areas that could cause the organisation to have moral or even legal issues.

5.    Do you understand the appropriate employment laws for each type of “agile worker” you are using and do you have each of the workers on a signed contract that protects the organisation (see point four above)?

6.  Do you have guidelines for what types of workers to use for specific projects or initiatives?  It could be a real issue if you hire a freelancer to do a particular piece of work, that has unique brand value for your organisations, and then they work for the competition.  Maybe you don’t want to use a freelance type of “agile workers” for something that is a brand or market sensitive.  Having a set of guidelines for all hiring managers that outlines the type of worker for specific types of projects or engagements or dealing with specific types of Intellectual Property (IP) could prove useful.

Many of the individuals that you might want to bring into your organisation would much prefer to be an “agile worker” and many companies benefit from having the flexibility to engage the right talent and skills on a short-term project type basis.   Agile working is a real win/ win but requires you to answer the practical question of “who do we invite to the Christmas party”?

Article by Mary Sue Rogers

 

Posted On : 19-05-16

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