Thursday, November 22, 2007

The lament of the external staffer

Many business hire freelancers and consultants. Many hire part-time staff. Many of these work at distance.

One of the problems 'at distance' workers experience is not being treated as part of the fold. Now, for most this isn't a problem unto itself. Many freelancers are so used to being independent you come to enjoy it and you're more than happy to do without the occasional lunch spread or morning tea festival. However, one should not be invisible to management when it comes to feedback.

No situation should ever exist of in-house staff being celebrated for tasks that external staff also do; but the latter group are ignored.

Management also needs to recognise that in-house staff wind up knowing about each other's lives and this can generate empathy and greater tolerance. I regularly observe a manager giving grace to an in-house staffer, and happy to give that grace, but then become tight and annoyed when an external employee needs time off. If managers want to develop strong bonds with external staff they need to look at what they provide to internal staff and see exactly the same is offered to those external. Dare to think creative and, [I added this later] socially sustainable.

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