In my last post, I wrote about the importance of providing extra value to our contractors, so that they feel part of what we call our Extended Tribe. But in this post, I want to talk more about our journey towards working in a true partnership.
Contractors help us constantly innovate and deliver better service to our clients. And it’s been an eye-opening, amazing journey.
They are usually hired for their specialist skills and businesses often expect contractors to hit the ground running from day one. Collaboration is a challenge, and outsourced jobs are not a natural, open forum where people can say, “Hey, I’m not quite sure about this. What do you think?”
But at Tribal we recognise that our contractors may be hired to execute a specific job, but they’re not just here to do as they’re told. We encourage them to participate, question and innovate. I’d go as far to say it’s a requirement, really, in terms of how we want to work with our Extended Tribe.
Collaboration Is The Key To Innovate
It’s my experience here at Tribal that any successful training, campaign or content strategy works best when you can bounce ideas off each other. So we don’t just devise and execute a plan for our contractors and leave them to hit the ground running with a ‘brief’. We help them execute the plan and we’re there to guide them during any sticking points with further training and helpful resources if needed.
Also, it’s they who work with our clients to execute that plan. They understand the business best - and the employees within it. So we take their feedback and insights on board and integrate it into the plan. We value their input and use their experience to better shape our services and improve the outcomes for our customers.
Yes, we have a ‘blueprint’ process for employee advocacy programs at Tribal that we’ve built from our past and current successes. But this blueprint is never set in stone. It’s flexible, mouldable, fluid.
Social media is a fast paced, ever-changing area. Each project presents fresh challenges and how they execute it can provide us with unique insights to test and challenge our framework. If we're not challenging the framework, if we're not challenging the scope of work with data, with results, with engagement, then we are relying on processes that can be very quickly outdated. Even obsolete.
Learning From Their Questions, Finding Solutions Together
If you want to work in true partnership, you need to establish that there are no dumb questions. There’s no such thing as asking too many questions. If you listen closely, these questions asked by contractors will show you where the process is broken, the framework is clunky, and if communication is patchy.
Listening to our contractors’ queries and finding solutions together is how we can show we value their expertise and, their collaboration. It allows us to not only reliably deliver, but truly delight our customers with our level of service.
Our contractors are a key part of our employee experience (EX) approach. Their satisfaction, contribution, collaboration and the relationships we build with them have a direct reflection on the customer experience (CX) we can provide.
This is what I love about Tribal. It’s part of our company DNA that we’re open to new ideas, wherever they come from. We work in partnership with our contractors and clients, instead of a top-down approach.
There’s still a lot to do in our journey towards partnership and innovation when it comes to contractors – on how we improve our two-way communication, how we log the information provided by them and how we feed this back into the processes they are to follow.
As our business grows, I’m very excited to explore this path along our Extended Tribe where nobody should feel like a fraud, they just need to reach out and be willing to learn from others and give back too. We’re all in this together.