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4 do’s and don’ts for managing service providers

Managing service providers can be tough sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the way the modern world is going now, this is the new normal. No longer are businesses only made up of employees, but instead, there are many different service providers that make up the total workforce.

This certainly has its pros and cons. While you have the scope to hire those with the exact knowledge and skills you need, managing service providers on large collaborations can feel like a bit of a minefield at first.

We’ve covered a lot of information on working with service providers, such as the 6 do’s and don’ts when hiring a third-party supplier, and the difference between hiring an independent worker vs full-time employee, but in this article, we are going to go a little deeper into the best ways to manage your relationships with service providers to achieve the best outcome.

So if you’re wondering what the best way to integrate third parties into your workforce is, and how to manage outsourced service providers, read on for our 4 do’s and don’ts for managing relationships with service providers.

1. DO understand their wants and needs

It can be easy to get stuck in that employer/employee mindset when hiring people for your team or project, but the thing about the independent workforce is, that it’s an equal playing field. When you’re hiring a service provider, it’s as much about why they want to work with you as it is about why you want to hire them.

With that being said, a key part of managing service providers is really taking an interest in why the service provider in question would like to work with and support you on your project. Getting a better understanding of their motivations and intentions will not only give you a better idea of if they’re the right fit for your business but will also create a better understanding in your relationship and give more meaning to the work rather than it being purely transactional.

2. DO make everyone’s expectations clear

One of the easiest ways for a relationship with a service provider to not work out is by not communicating clearly enough. It’s important to understand each other’s expectations from the get-go so that you both know where you stand, and what’s expected of you from your end. Things such as cost, budget, timescales, logistics, etc are all good areas to cover when discussing expectations.

Other things to consider may be how often you check in with one another or the best way to contact each other should you need to. Often when a third party is doing work for an organization, it’s little things like this that can cause confusion, upset, and delays.

Communicating exactly what to expect and when to expect it (to the best of your ability at that moment in time) is the best way to ensure everyone is happy and things go to plan.

3. DON’T make things purely transactional

Business is business, but it’s not all about the money. We like to think that you’re passionate about what you do and who you work for, that’s certainly the case for most independent workers, but when it comes to managing service providers and suppliers, the relationship can often stay at a very technical level.

But work should be about collaboration and teamwork. You wouldn’t see employees working in the same office day in and day out and not forming any kind of relationship (and if you do then that’s probably not a very nice place to work), so consider all service providers the same. Aside from making the working environment a much nicer place, building relationships with people has a lot of benefits to your organisation.

The greater the relationship you have with someone, the better your connections and opportunities become, the more they want to help you out and vice versa, and greater care and effort will be put into the service or work being provided.

Taking an interest in someone never did any harm, and it takes the robotic, monotonous feel out of simply purchasing or delivering a service. We’re all human at the end of the day and relationships are what life is all about.

4. DON’T skimp on feedback

Again, this all comes down to communication but giving regular feedback to those working with you will really make the process much smoother and ensure everyone remains on the same page. When you have a third-party such as a supplier, service provider, freelancer, or contractor working on a project, they won’t be mind readers, so be sure to keep telling them your views on the project – both positive and constructive feedback will really help to ensure everything is moving in the right direction and that the outcomes remain clear to everyone.

Not providing feedback throughout a project is almost as bad as not providing a clear brief, and while things can get busy, you will be so thankful that you took a few extra minutes of your time to have feedback discussions with service providers.

Ultimately, what most of these do’s and don’ts point out is the importance of communication in service provider management. Without good, clear, and thorough communication, you may find you’re having more of a hard time getting the results you want.

WorkSavvy can help you communicate more effectively and clearly with independent workers. If you'd like to see how our platform can help your business, book in for your free demo and a chat with us today!

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