Monday, July 12, 2010

How to "Performance Manage" the NEW Flexible Workforce?

My business partner, Barbara Hughes and I were discussing last week's blog topic, "Performance Management is a Tool and not a Chore" when she asked me a very good question:

"How will HR professionals design a performance management system with the changing workforce?  Now, that we have more 1099's, project workers, and consultants instead of regular full-time employees.  
This trend was discussed in a recent BusinessWeek article and one that needs consideration around this performance management topic.

My first reaction was that, with the "flexible" workforce, it would be easy to conduct performance management as it will be the truest form of pay for performance.  Either you meet the project deliverables and deliver on-time or you are not renewed, continued or called back.  End of story.

Then I thought, well why should that be different from our "regular" workforce?  I know what you are going to say, we need to use our progressive discipline program and we need to coach and counsel, we need to do X, Y and Z.  But, we don't do that for 1099's or temporary workers.  We are very quick to say, "Next" with that group.

I believe we are going to have to get this dichotomy figured out as we are not going to have less temporary, 1099's and consultants in our workforce; we are going to have more.

How do you think we can handle performance with these two different groups in one workforce?  Should we have two separate systems?  What are your experiences in this situation?
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