Over my 16-plus year career in the contingent workforce ecosystem, I have seen programs deal with incredible challenges. Some challenges are healthy and much needed to help move the industry forward, such as pressures from competition, pressure to perform and deliver quality service.  However, other challenges I have seen programs face are actual barriers to success and often are self-inflicted in the form of policies, procedures and culture. I would like to provide some insight on how your client organization can move the needle of progress within your contingent workforce program.

In the book The War at Work, Seth Mattison asserts rigid business models and long-standing rules we have come to count upon for centuries are no longer reliable and are proving inefficient or ineffective against many of today’s pressing challenges. Within contingent workforce programs, there are more than likely some policies or procedures that are holding back the maturity and quality of the program. Mattison challenges readers to take on one policy or procedure that is holding their organization back and to think about how they can help remove that barrier.

In the context of contingent workforce programs, such an example could be in the supplier review process. Many programs have numerous ways in which they measure supply chain partners. Scorecards are very popular and can provide insight. But how many organizations look in the mirror to see if they could be contributing to some of the mediocre performance?

Consider creating an internal scorecard for the touch points within your contingent workforce program, such as for engagement managers. Strong VMS technologies can support these types of measurements. My colleagues and I are happy to discuss some thought starters for your organization if you are interested, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

The initial challenge is to find those potential barriers. If you are not sure what the barriers are, just ask your supply chain partners; they will be more than willing to share their perspective. Take a large enough sampling of your supply chain to find consistent themes. Once identified, build your case to take to senior leadership on how removing said barriers will help drive the program to new heights. Removing these barriers could provide you with a competitive advantage to attract the best talent in this tight labor market. Be bold and open to peeling your onion back to discover your internal policies and procedures that are creating barriers for success.