4 Ways to Prepare for Massive Workplace Change
Jacob Morgan is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist. His latest book, The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate” (Wiley, March 2017) analyzes over 250 global organizations to determine how to create an organization where people genuinely want, not need to show up to work.
Through all of my research and interviews with executives, it has become increasingly clear that the relationship between employees and employers is changing. Most notably, this change revolves around part-time employee labor, alternative work arrangements, and the gig economy.
In the past, you likely thought of ride-sharing platforms like Uber when discussing the gig economy. These days, however, it’s no longer just for grocery delivery and transportation. The gig economy has transformed into highly adopted technology-based human capital solutions that connect nimble and innovative enterprises to a network of independent business professionals.
Leveraging the gig economy gives businesses a chance to access a broader talent pool than with a traditional workforce model. It also enables companies to quickly scale their talent up or down with little to no overhead cost. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are making use of this new on-demand workforce to get help with everything from financial analysis to marketing research to web development. It’s no wonder why companies around the world and even Fortune 500 multinational corporations like GE are tapping into this new way to work.
Is your organization ready to revel in the benefits of on-demand talent? Prepare your team for the changes by taking the following steps:
1. Be Flexible
As the relationship between employer and employee evolves, you’ll notice that there’s no one-size-fits-all method to a hybrid workforce. The future may include a mix of full-time staff, on-demand workers, contractors, and temp or agency employees, so approach your org chart with flexibility.
2. Educate Your Team
Your employees can’t capitalize on the gig economy if they don’t know what it is or how to make use of it. The sooner they have a solid understanding of the future, the sooner they can adapt and innovate. Talk to your team members and communicate any upcoming changes you plan to make.
3. Leverage Technology
Technology makes it easier to collaborate, communicate, and work with a contingent workforce. On-demand employees typically work remotely, so make sure you have the relevant and necessary solutions on hand. For example, invest in collaboration tools, task management applications, and expense and invoice tracking systems.
You can also take advantage of freelance marketplaces that have these solutions built into their functionality. Some online platforms even provide usage insights, allowing your business to track progress and performance and make better data-driven HR and project-planning decisions.
4. Test Out New Initiatives
To help your team understand how to tap into the on-demand economy and get the most value out of it, start building relationships with workforce management systems. Be sure to check your state’s labor laws and regulatory requirements before piloting any projects. This has been a constant point of debate among policymakers, so be aware of any changes that might be coming your way.
Full-time employment may still be the dominant HR category, but alternative work arrangements are on the rise—and they will continue to grow rapidly. We may not know exactly how large the gig economy is today, but researchers are starting to collect data, and soon we’ll have a much better picture of what this projected workforce will look like beyond 2017.
Smart organizations are already tapping into the on-demand workforce to get things done, and I encourage you to do the same. Having personally worked with the contingent workforce for the better part of a decade, I’m convinced in the value they bring for organizations large and small.
To learn more about the mindsets and capabilities needed to capitalize on the new way to work, check out the whitepaper below.