For many of our businesses, contractors are essential to day to day operations, providing specialist skills and enabling us to scale capacity to meet changing demands. What’s more, our requirement for a contingent workforce may well rise in the coming months as we resume operations, rebuild and restructure. However, we will only benefit if we are able to manage our contractors effectively. Managing contractors in-house with manual processes was challenging before, now there are many complexities making this is an enormous undertaking. So, how can we effectively manage our contractors and remain compliant with a global pandemic to contend with as well?
Achieving Contractor Compliance in Changing Times
Operating in a constantly evolving regulatory environment is challenging even if your business has numerous employees working across multiple sites, throw contractors into the mix, and those challenges are compounded further. You need to manage movement between sites, maintain visibility over contractors and ensure a clear understanding of COVID-19 protocols throughout. As well as all the existing responsibilities, workplace compliance now has to take into account:
- Additional risks – COVID-related risks need to be identified and assessed, and prevention or mitigation measures put in place.
- New legislation – businesses and their contractors need to stay up-to-date with new government legislation and guidelines.
- Changing responsibilities – contractors need to be aware of any additional hazards that they will be dealing with and know their responsibilities.
- New plans – a COVID plan needs to be created for every site a business works on, and those plans need to be clearly communicated and easily referenced.
- Amended inductions – even in relation to existing contractors, site inductions will need to be revisited to include COVID training.
- Further equipment – personal protective equipment (PPE), will need to be provided and worn by both employees and contractors
- Comprehensive records – every site visit needs to be accurately recorded and information collected on all contractor activity.
- Constant monitoring – measures need to be in place to monitor performance and ensure contractors are meeting their obligations.
Ultimately, there is now a lot more scrutiny on how companies operate. This includes the ability to adhere to long-established guidelines as well as new measures in place to protect against the pandemic. Companies have a responsibility not only for the health and safety of all workers on site, but to ensure workplace compliance. It may feel that achieving 100% compliance is impossible, but with the right contractor management system in place, you can get an awful lot closer.
How Contractor Management Can Help
As you resume operations, you’ll need to examine the feasibility and risks of your contractor relationships. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 will need to take priority, and guidelines will need to be created and shared amongst all workers. However, you need to achieve this in a way that retains a positive and sustainable working relationship with your contractors.
To manage all of this, a contractor management solution that provides software along with the necessary support can make a huge difference. Digital solutions are vital to achieving workplace compliance in an efficient and cost-effective way. With automated features, notifications and online checklists, contractor management is more:
- Responsive – you can make rapid changes to policies and processes and ensure everyone has access to the latest version.
- Communicative – with an online message board, you can clearly communicate to everyone what is going on at any given moment.
- Confident – you can ensure inductions are completed and that every contractor has accepted the terms of working under new provisions.
- Present – with spot checks through an online platform, you can ensure that policies and procedures are being adhered to
- Transparent – with an online record of everything your contractors do, you are able to produce audit reports in an instant.
With the right solution, you can reduce the administrative burden of contractor management, reduce the chance of human error and ensure compliance. And, that means that you are more able to adapt and, hopefully, to grow your business.
Defining Your New Normal
The COVID-19 pandemic has created some permanent changes in the way that we work, and our businesses have had to adapt to deal with them. We need new processes, new safety measures and new ways of working to survive in the new normal. And, to be able to continue to rely upon our contractors as a valuable asset, we need to manage them effectively. This means ensuring we can exchange information, retain visibility and monitor their work in a reliable way.
With the help of the right contractor management solution, you can create a working environment that is safe, mitigate the risks of COVID and protect your business from the related impacts. What the last year has taught us is that we are all dealing with an uncertain future. However, by being prepared for sudden changes and being able to adapt, we have an opportunity to define a new normal and to thrive.
For over a decade, Conserve has helped organisations overcome contractor management challenges. We can help you develop a contractor management service that will be not only effective but will make your organisation safer, while minimising your overall risk. Request a demo now or visit the Conserve page for more great content.
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