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The Contingent Workforce and what it means for IP


contingent worker, intellectual properyThe steep growth of contingent labor in the workforce has surfaced a number of new questions for HR leaders and business partners.  These questions range from legal compliance to cultural assimilation to tracking & managing.  And one of the most vexing issues is the idea of protecting intellectual property (IP).

Companies grapple with the risk of losing knowledge and intellectual property when contingent workers leave or complete their assignments. It’s unsettling to think about workers who aren’t particularly loyal walking out the door having learned about your strategies, new technologies, and innovations - not to mention dirty laundry - key deliverable in hand, headed to work for the next guy.  

So what's the solution?  Some organizations are mitigating these risks by assigning work to contractors in logical increments and relying on a permanent employee to knit them back together, reducing the risk that any one individual leaves with a full product. 

Others mitigate risk by finding ways to build loyalty and endear themselves to their contingent workforce to build trust.  They invite contractors to brainstorming meetings, celebrations, and even strategy building sessions.  These organizations adopt the philosophy of many change management professionals:  People support - and are loyal to - what they help to create.  Contractors included. 

With the continuing increase in contingent labor in the workforce, we imagine that you are already planning for the repercussions.  What are your plans to protect IP?  We'd love to know!


Other Articles You May Be Interested In:

4 Reasons Why Your Talent Strategy Must Include Contingent Labor

 HR Business Partner Development: Three Tips for Senior HR Leaders


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