Article: Considering gig employees as mainstream workforce

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Considering gig employees as mainstream workforce

A brief look at the changing relationship of the employee and the employer, and why companies need to consider gig workers as mainstream workforce.
Considering gig employees as mainstream workforce

Much like everything else, the ecosystem of work is changing radically, and the structure of the workforce is changing with it. As organizations assimilate globalization and technology innovation, they need to be responsive to address the rapidly shifting consumer predilections, battle with more agile start-ups, and level- up or level-down resources as per demand. The older modes of work are being replaced at an increasing rate and in the wake of these changes, the labor markets have significantly evolved too. The rise of the gig economy is evolving the very concept of work as we once knew it.

Understanding the fundamentals of the gig economy

The gig economy is sustained and expedited by the rise of technology and consumers who expect goods and services to arrive quicker and more flexibly than ever before. To meet these demands, businesses need access to extremely skilled professionals for short-term projects to drive innovation and bring about swift changes.

The latest set of changes that today’s economies are experiencing from new technologies has disrupted work opportunities that used to be structured, formal, and synchronized. The gig economy is creating more flexible ways to meet the demand of businesses. It also creates a new set of expectations and attitudes about work and organizations are actively taking steps to leverage the gig talent pool. This is done to understand, attract, hire, engage, and retain this crucial new breed of contributors. At the same time, gig workers are looking for opportunities that offer greater flexibility and variety. Technology is the critical activator which facilitates the nature of supply and demand where accessible talent meets organizational needs. 

Gig workers and their changing relationships with organizations

Initially envisioned as a contract position, work today includes the work performed by the gig workers and there has been considerable and rapid growth in the number of people working under such arrangements. For example, in the legal profession; there is an increase in relational contracts which emphasize the development and growth of the relationship between the agreement parties. This new approach supports long-term partnerships that bring far greater benefits to all parties. 

Engaging the gig workforce tactically is a tough job. To do so, organizations have to move beyond “managing” workers. Instead, they must focus on “optimizing” and “leveraging” them deliberately and well and unfortunately, this does not happen often. Many a time, even companies with sound policies and standards lack a strategic, enterprise-wide approach. We need to undertake an across-the-board rewiring of how companies should operate when it comes to gig workers. This will allow the companies to place the fitting talent in their corresponding roles. Such an outlook helps in finding that common cause, which helps both the workforce and the business to succeed, learn, and develop. 

Many companies use gig workers in various places throughout the organization. They highlight the relational contracting approach in their association with the freelancers. If a freelancer gets the job done in a timely fashion, with good quality results, it establishes trust and paves the way for future collaborations as well. The same holds true of the company too; when a company treats its freelancers well, decently, and with respect – the workers get motivated to give their all. When they are paid fairly and are cognizant of any special circumstances or additional effort they have made, it reflects well on the company. So, as a company's reputation grows, more gig workers ultimately want to work with it. 

To sum up, the gig employee is now a significant part of the modern workforce. Businesses that swear by this workforce can build strategies and programs to source and engage skilled people wherever they may sit in the talent pool. This to drive business growth and extend the diversity of the workforce. It is time for companies to embrace gig workers as mainstream in the modern workforce.

 

Topics: #GuestArticle, #GigToBig, Talent Management

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