Five Strategies to Create a Workforce That Works Well
The share of gig workers has grown 15% since 2010.
That’s according to a new study published by ADP Research Institute. And their count includes only 1099-MISC contractors and short-term W-2 employees. Now factor in freelance workers, artisans, and app-based service workers - such as Uber or Lyft drivers - and the number of workers in nontraditional employment arrangements increases significantly.
Why the continued rise?
Arran Stewart, Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of recruitment platform Job.com offers a one word answer in our conversation. And it isn’t pandemic.
“Some companies are now advocating for a return to the office,” Stewart summarizes. “And the workforce is opting out. Employees increasingly value freedom, and flexible work is one way to find that freedom.”
“The freedom to choose the way we work according to our well-being, family commitments and personality is a freedom that’s now available,” Stewart continues. “Society has now removed the constraints that previously prevented freedom of movement within the labor force, so that people can choose how they work best.”
Cubicles and clocks aren’t the only workplace constraints being challenged.
“Work from anywhere has stimulated our thought process about how technology could remove communication barriers,” Stewart continues. “Which means new possibilities for how organizations define anywhere. We could be looking at an ever-blurred international borderline when it comes to work. (The concept of) “Offshore talent” may soon disappear as global talent remuneration (and technology) level up to create a supply of more easily accessible labor.”
Which leads to more choices and more freedom for employers as well.
Stewart offers words of wisdom for leaders aspiring to build a borderless, boundaryless workforce that results in employer and employee health and success:
Leverage Technology to Predict People Shifts: “Utilize digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an asset to predict internal movements within your organization and to predict possible exits.”
Make Work Easier: When you consider your digital transformation portfolio, what percentage of your initiatives will make your employee and customer experiences easier? “Let’s not displace, let’s not replace, let’s enhance,” Steward coached. “There is a lot of work to do in the future, and (technology) is best deployed as a tool to improve people’s ability to complete tasks. (Imagine what would happen if) technology could help people be more productive in a shorter amount of time resulting in benefits like a four-day workweek and more time for leisure activities.”
Train Technology to Become Your Best Recruiter: Deploy technology that improves candidate searches, so you don’t waste your time with candidates who won’t be a fit.
Diversify, Diversify, Diversify: “Diversify your workforce across all levels of seniority. Changing policies, benefits, processes, and even physical workspaces to be more inclusive of all people creates a more positive, effective, and innovative workplace. This diversity will attract new, skilled employees and open the door for innovation with diversity in thought present at every level of leadership.”
Wellbeing is A Must Have Rather Than A Nice To Have: “The labor force is no longer willing to work at companies that don’t support their well-being and freedom. To support employee mental health and overall well-being, companies can:
Promote the use of apps that teach mindfulness strategies for work-from-home employees.
Give options for hybrid or remote working that allow employees to balance their family, work, and personal lives.
Be open to utilizing new programs or platforms to increase the feeling of connectedness and communication amongst employees–even from remote locations.
“Pursuit of profit clouded our understanding that humans are the economy,” Stewart concludes “The pursuit of profit will always be short-lived without an economy behind it, stimulating profit and driving consumer demand. I know mistakes will still be made and nothing will be perfect, but I do believe we have learned a great deal from the mistakes (of how we’ve treated people in the past) and will do a better job of providing opportunity to the labor market - with less focus on displacement. Our total addressable market is about to expand exponentially.”.