The demand of today's workforce to have complete control over their work schedules has resulted in a new employment market reality: the gig economy. Employers in the gig economy hire freelancers to execute certain tasks rather than hiring full-time workers. Emerging technology has improved connectivity, allowing for more remote working options and assisting in the gig economy's growth. In 2018, short-term contracts and freelance employees contributed roughly $204 billion in gross revenue, with that amount predicted to rise to $455 billion by 2023.
Both the business and the employee benefit from the flexibility and freedom provided by the gig economy. The company can hire many specialists to do certain duties, as well as freelancers who are hybrid specialists or even hyper specialists in a particular field. Similarly, the employee has the freedom to switch employment regularly and enhance their portfolio by gaining a diverse range of experience.
Despite the excitement surrounding the gig economy and the seeming inevitability of labor decentralization, some hiring managers are unwilling to hire freelancers. Why?
Well, the gig economy's work paradigm has some issues, such as fostering team cohesion, instilling a sense of belonging in all members, and keeping open lines of communication.
Furthermore, these decentralized organizations can occasionally result in a lack of policy and process consistency across contractual team members. Silos can arise, similar to hyperspecialization, and it might be difficult for contract employees to comprehend the big picture. And, of course, while working outside the office, talent must be intrinsically motivated and driven.
Despite these obstacles, firms must accept a decentralized approach to recruitment as a reality.
Fortunately, there are a few ways for managers to integrate contract staff into their teams smoothly.
Making sure freelance workers are engaged and motivated is one of the most difficult challenges when recruiting them. Engagement is vital for full-time employees as well, but it's much more so for remote workers who aren't physically connected to an office or to leadership. Ensuring that contractual staff is doing meaningful work is one method to handle this problem. While some contractual positions may be tough to discern immediate relevance, managers must step in and relate the job to the greater picture.
Any function should answer the What's In It For Me question while also aligning with the company's vision and mission to foster meaning. And, through all means of communication, that alignment may be reinforced for contract staff on a regular basis. Communication can also be used to detect low engagement and fix it immediately. Managers should schedule regular checkpoints with their contracted personnel to learn about their requirements and problems, as well as to provide guidance to the freelancers.
When new team members are hired, they are frequently given little or no training. It can be baffling and can lead to feelings of loneliness, especially if they are unable to learn from others on the job. As a result, a briefing sheet followed by a live orientation is an excellent method to welcome new employees to the team, communicate business values and standards, and get them off to a good start. It's critical to include your project-based staff in regular team meetings, calls, and brainstorming sessions to increase engagement and create a clear picture of workflows.
The culture and perspectives of gig workers will undoubtedly be influenced by the leaders of organizational units. If we want the independent workforce to be involved or at least interested in the firm, we need to make sure that all types of employees are included in company communication and engagement. Because temporary and full-time employees are all key stakeholders and representatives in some businesses, there is clear accountability for communication and engagement for both temporary and full-time employees.
When it comes to contingent workers, how supportive is the company culture of their efforts? Perceptions of workforce segments can generate major splits in some organizations, fostering unproductive interactions. Companies that promote diversity and have an open culture are more likely to recognize the importance and contribution of the gig economy. Organizations may profit from independent workers' ideas, engage them in creativity, and foster a sense of belonging by cultivating a culture that values them.
It's easy to lose track of who is doing what when staff is working in different locations. Processes are clarified, and duplication of effort is avoided with a clear workflow and breakdown of tasks. You can prevent working in silos and provide a clear structure for how work needs to be done by designing a flowchart that includes regular touchpoints with different team members, both full-time and contractors.
Sense of belongingness
When your team is dispersed geographically, it's critical to bring them together and ensure that everyone feels a sense of belonging. Regular team-building events that physically bring individuals together can be a fantastic place to start. Virtual events can also be utilized to keep in touch with teams that are dispersed around the globe on a regular basis. Also, while contract employees are equally as valuable as full-time employees, an organized approach to recognizing helps ensure that contractors receive good feedback on a regular basis.
Try a monthly town hall or appreciation board, where employees can record their accomplishments, and the management can share them all during a monthly meeting.
In addition, ensuring that all employees have a business email address and are encouraged to represent the firm at events and conferences encourages inclusion and creates trust. Finally, learning opportunities are terrific to celebrate project-based employees' hard work and bring them all together. Assuring team members that continual learning is a part of their journey demonstrates to the contracted employee that the company values their contribution and is involved in their development.
Workplaces are becoming more decentralized, with a greater reliance on freelancers. In order to meet corporate objectives, managers must ensure that they are prepared to accept new ways of working with contracted staff. Managers may reap the benefits of the decentralized structure while also ensuring a healthier working environment for all team members by implementing a few strategies targeted at generating a sense of belonging and maintaining engagement throughout the entire team.