As our economy begins to grow towards more of a Solopreneur/gig-based economy, I often see a clear disconnect with subcontractors. What I mean by this is that whether you are hiring contractors, or you are a contractor yourself, managing this dynamic is important to ensuring a good fit and boundless long-term success.
Here, I will outline three steps to keep in mind when working with subcontractors:
- Provide a clear vision. Describe the vision of the organization, its objectives, and what success will look like in the short-term and long-term. I have fallen guilty to not doing this, both as the subcontractor and as the contracted. Often, this step is assumed or dismissed. I now believe this is a critical misstep. It is critical to find subcontractors who are not only great at what they do and share your values, but also clearly know what success looks like. When these relationships become more engaged in a common goal, there will be a much a greater likelihood of success.
- Clearly define the subcontractor’s tasks. Discuss in simple, specific, and measurable terms the tasks that the subcontractor will need to complete. Having a direct and candid conversation about expectations in the early phase of the relationship will pay huge dividends. It never ceases to amaze me how big the disconnect can be when defining expectations; these expectations may include the integration of subcontractors, the employer’s processes, deliverables, metrics, meetings, communication methods, or other topics that need to be discussed.
- Engage in consistent communication and accountability. Define up front how frequently you should meet with your subcontractor to successfully launch your new relationship. From that point, explore the rhythm, format, and frequency you should have to ensure consistent communication. Remember, great meetings have three things: communication, accountability, and problem solving. Once you schedule a consistent meeting cadence, I recommend setting an agenda that outlines these three points. This sort of approach will help to ensure you are moving towards and reaching for the same goal. My favorite question to ask in these meetings is “What else should we be addressing?” The more open and candid you are, the more likely you will be of achieving success.
Whether you are a subcontractor or the employer, it is up to you to help lead and manage the interpersonal dynamic. When you do this well, you will solidify the relationship – driving you, your company, and your subcontractors to unlimited success.
Interested in improving your management of subcontractors? Do you want to take your relationship with your employees and subcontractors to the next level? Then what are you waiting for? Contact us today to learn more!