The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have only just begun. Workforces are dealing with new rules as working from home becomes a necessity for businesses that can support it. Employee safety and wellness have taken on entirely new levels everywhere, but especially at businesses that require on-site work.

Now, many of us have had a few weeks navigating the changes, and contingent workforce programs are looking ahead to ensure we can support the drastic changes to the way we interact, price things and manage productivity. As businesses move forward, they must take a look at the four Ps.

1. Policies. Within the US, there are several changes happening legislatively to help out of workers and businesses. Items to consider for all concerned are things like PTO, sick pay, short-term benefits, long-term benefits and finally the reality of remote work. This may be stating the obvious, but the recent pressures to get work done while supporting or modifying existing policies have no doubt caused all of us to quickly change the way we do business. The America’s Covid-19 Legal Update report from SIA provides links to information and guidance for employers and workforce solutions providers across North America and Latin America. It is available to CWS Council members.

2. Procurement. Pricing as well as supply and demand could have major impacts on our industry. Best-in-class contingent programs are able to manage these challenges quickly and effectively. Here are some initial questions for you to consider as they pertain to contingent labor:

  • Are your current rate card strategies capable of supporting quick changes to market labor prices?
  • Can your program office and/or external MSP contract and expand quickly?
  • Are your suppliers the right suppliers and can they support your program through these trying times?

These questions are just the beginning. As we continue to navigate the landscape brought forth by the pandemic, there will be other questions to consider as well.

3. Productivity. The current situation provides the ecosystem an opportunity to leverage technology and remote-worker strategies in a way we have not seen before. Talking with buyers in recent weeks, shifting to remote work has been a daunting task.  The strain on IT departments has been considerable, while the instant change management required to get managers comfortable with managing contingent workers remotely has also been difficult. Organizations have been required to look at productivity in a new way and with little to no time to train their workers. This could be leading the way for drastic change for life after Covid-19 within programs. Lastly, organizations are looking at goals and objectives related to contingent labor.

4. Personal. Perhaps the most important of all: On a personal level, how can you not only survive but flourish during this difficult time? What will it take for you to motivate your team? There is so much at risk for contingent workforce managers. Driving adoption and change will be a big challenge to ensure business keeps going and potentially improve around QECR methodologies to help take the program to new heights for life after Covid-19. A crisis can sometimes provide us with unique opportunities to change strategies and perceptions. Contingent workforce leaders should look for opportunities to make impacts to perceptions if the opportunity presents itself.

These are unique challenges we are facing during this pandemic. Positive and proactive thinking will help get us all through this crisis. Now that the status quo has been turned on its head, provide strategic vision and solutions to help take advantage of these changes. We will get through this and, hopefully, contingent labor programs will come out of this crisis stronger and better than ever before.