Employee productivity is always a hot topic. But is there a relationship between employee productivity and their status as a contractor?
That’s the topic our own Robby Slaughter covered in a recent guest post for MaverickPR. The piece is titled “Are Contract Employees More Productive?” From the article:
On the one hand, contractors and employees couldn’t be more different. They are classified differently under tax laws. Contractors are typically exempt from benefits, and employees typically have a higher status in the organization. Contractors tend to get called in to work on a particular project until it’s done, but employees are hired on a permanent basis.
On the other hand, every job is a contract job. When you’re a full time employee, you work under an employment contract. This might be an implied contract or a written job description. It might be a verbal understanding that gets reiterated in periodic reviews. In the case of a sales role, your work contract might be your commission structure. In essence, the contract is: work and you get paid, don’t work and you need to get out.
We’ve covered similar topics before here on The Methodology Blog. As we’ve noted, the most importance connection is between employee productivity and freedom. In this sense, traditional employees might be lagging slightly behind. As Slaughter concludes:
In summary, we can’t say conclusively that contractors are more productive than salaried employees. But we can say that contracts themselves—written descriptions of work, expectations and compensations—are the foundation of productivity.
Talk to your accountant about how to pay people to help you do work. But no matter what the tax code says, develop clear expectations and provide employees with autonomy. The secret to maximizing employee productivity is often getting out of the way. Whether your team members are part-time, full-time or provided through an employment agency, the best management technique is to ensure you are not micromanaging.
Work collaboratively to define a contract for the results you need. Then let people find their way and shine on their own.