Recruiting | 7Min Read

Understanding the Different Types of Employees in the Workplace

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The labour market is in a continuous state of evolution, with new positions and methods of working. In part, this evolution is due to technology, but it’s also a testament to generational change. 

As Millennials and Gen Z take over the workforce, it’s easy to notice a shift in priorities. Unlike their parents, the young adults in the office today understand that personal well-being and work-life balance are important.

As a result, they want to work shorter hours, receive fair compensation for their time and effort, and require perks such as nap time, gym memberships, paid maternity and paternity leave, and more. 

But it’s not just about the perks. Young adults also understand that technology helps separate work from the office. Plus, the ascending trend of the gig economy brought forth new types of employment. This is to the benefit of both employers and employees. 

Employees in the Workplace

Today’s companies work with several types of employees and collaborators. As a result, it’s easier to adapt according to the current staffing needs. Plus, companies get to dip their toes in the global talent pool, which helps increase productivity without also increasing the costs.

However, when you work with different types of employees you need to understand how each needs to be represented in your company. This is why we are going to do a quick summary of the types of employees you usually find in today’s companies. 

Full-Time Employees

In technical terms, full-time employees work an average of 40h per week and have a permanent employment contract (indefinite period) with the company. These employees are eligible for benefits like OSHA training, while employers must pay the required taxes to the main financial authority for workplace safety, ensuring a secure work environment. 

These employees are usually with the company long-term and expect to grow and develop during their time in the office. They like the idea of a secure job position and enjoy stability (are risk-averse). These people are more likely to stay with the company during tough times, but they do expect to get better compensation during good times.

Full Time Employee

How to Keep Them Motivated

Stability, predictability, and growth are three of the main factors that motivate full-time employees who have been with the company for a few years. While not all full-time employees are also loyal to the company, the ones that stay are happy with the current environment. 

However, boredom and a lack of novelty can get to them. Therefore, your HR department needs to stay on top of the situation by offering them options (educational incentives, financial compensation, or the possibility to advance in a better position).

Part-Time Employees

Part-timers have the same type of contract as full-timers, only with fewer hours. Usually, someone on a part-time contract works 20h per week, but the situation is different from one company to another. Tax and payment for benefits also fall on the shoulders of the employers.

These employees may become full-time or they may keep their hours, depending on their other engagements. Still, part-timers don’t stay in this situation for long - they will either ascend to a full-time position within the company or look for employment elsewhere.

How to Keep Them Motivated

Part-time employees usually have something else going on in their lives (small children that need their attention, elderly parents who require care, another job, a business of their own). This makes it difficult to know if they will be with you in the long run or if they plan to get a full-time position. 

Still, there are ways to motivate part-timers into becoming fully-grown employees by paying attention to their needs.

Here are a few questions that may clarify the situation - 

  • Do they work part-time because they need extra money?

  • Is their situation at home temporary?

  • Are they interested in becoming full-fledged entrepreneurs?

Question Mark

Temporary Employees

This category includes people the company hires for a determined period of time. They can be seasonal workers or workers who only stay with the company until a specific project is complete (project-based). 

Leased employees are another type of temporary worker. However, they don’t have an employment contract with the organization that hires them to do a job. They are “on a lease” from an employment agency, which also pays their salary and benefits. 

Temporary employees are extremely useful during boom periods when the workload increases without being sustainable for a long period of time. This way, companies can temporarily increase staffing without having to keep the new employees on their payroll once things settle down.

How to Keep Them Motivated

The umbrella of temporary employees covers a wide range of people, from seasonal workers to people who work as substitutes. They may be aiming for a full-time position in the company or they may just be looking for a bit of extra work. 

Given that temp positions are compensated with lower wages (usually), money can be a great incentive. Offer cash bonuses for those temps who manage to complete an important goal quicker or more efficiently. Also, it helps to make them feel like part of the team. Temps don’t really have a chance to integrate with the full-time and part-time staff. But if they get to know the rest of the team and make friends, they’ll feel more motivated to sign a permanent contract.

Remote Employees

Remote Employee

The pandemic acted as an accelerator when it comes to remote workers, but the trend was already ongoing before 2019. In summary, due to various apps and software that allow remote collaboration and communication, companies can now hire people from different countries and even continents without having to worry about a work visa. 

Side note - you don’t have to be abroad to work remotely. Anyone can do so if the job allows it and the company is open to the idea.

Remote work opened the door for hybrid teams or teams that are fully remote. However, if you’re thinking about hiring people from other countries, it’s best to have a chat with a lawyer specializing in employment law. They can provide guidance on the best method of employment to choose.

How to Keep Them Motivated

People who work remotely often feel lonely and isolated from the rest of the team. Plus, they fear they’ll be skipped when it comes to promotions (which is a real phenomenon). 

While remote work has its clear advantages, isolation and lack of visual contact do create an invisible barrier that’s difficult to break. So, to keep them involved and motivated to give their all, it’s important to make them feel included. 

Here are a few tips on how to do that -

  • Organize weekly meetings with the entire team (remote & in-office)

  • If possible, have an in-person get-together with the entire team at least twice a month

  • Have a one-on-one chat with your remote employees and try to understand their environment & needs

  • Don’t make important decisions without consulting all the parties involved in the project

Contingent Workers

Due to the increase in the gig economy and platforms that allow people to look for jobs as freelancers or collaborators, many companies have what’s called contingent workers. These are not actual employees but do have a collaboration contract where things like compensation, work hours, and more are specified. 

Contingent workers are usually experts in their field and work with organizations on specific projects. They offer guidance and use their expertise to help solve various tasks after which they may choose to end the collaboration.

Examples of such workers are independent contractors, consultants, freelancers, lawyers, real estate coordinators and agents, and so on. They deliver a service and are paid according to the agreed amount.

However, the company doesn’t have any obligation with regard to employment tax or benefits. Contingent workers are independent and have to submit their own tax forms. 

For instance, foreign remote workers can be contingent employees if they are registered in their country. This simplifies the situation, which is why many companies are happier to work with freelancers and hire them than untangle the jungle of employment forms required for foreign workers.

How to Keep Them Motivated

The best way to motivate contingent workers to do a stellar job is to offer them a fair rate and avoid micromanaging their actions. Once you’ve discussed the contract and agreed on the terms, it’s time to trust they’ll do a good job.

Key Takeaways

The increasing diversity of the workforce provides more choices and freedom to both employees and employers. Still, as people are gradually returning to the office, one thing is clear - the standard 9-to-5 with overtime doesn’t work for everyone anymore. 

While some companies keep a strong grip on their employees and want to see them in the office, the norm is shifting towards a hybrid design. Plus, some employers accept a home-office combination, which helps reduce the time spent commuting and can bring office costs down. 

However, there is still a lot of bureaucracy around any type of employment, which can slow down the transformation. Still, things are changing and the old work paradigm where people would work in the same company for a lifetime is crumbling. A more flexible workforce makes everyone happy even if it looks like it also brings instability for some employers.

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