It’s time for leaders to concentrate on connecting everyday employee experiences to drive organizational value, purpose, and accomplishment.
Of all the new trends ushered in by emerging technology, one of the biggest game changers has been a shift in the labor market. More and more experts are opting to be gig workers instead of full-time employees, which brings about many questions for employers: What exactly does this mean for companies looking for new talent? What are the business benefits of gig employees? How can service providers capitalize on the gig economy?
A survey conducted by McKinsey determined that upwards of 162 million people were working as freelancers across the United States and the EU-15.
With 54-68 million of those independent workers, or 35 percent of the civilian labor force, the United States is leading the pack. And this number is expected to grow to 50 percent by 2020.
Though the figures are comparatively marginal in the EU-15, there’s a clear upward tick in the percentages of gig workers among today’s youth, meaning that companies poised to accommodate this new way of working stand to gain a lot.
It’s a win-win: The top 3 business benefits of gig employees
The top 3 business benefits of gig employees are:
- Flexibility – the gig economy is here to stay
- Creation of a pool of endless talent
- Modernizing the employee experience
Having a pool of gig workers available makes it much easier to adapt to sudden or unexpected increases in service demands. This is especially important since clients are becoming more and more accustomed to real-time service and predictive maintenance fixes.
Any downtime adds up to lost savings and productivity. Customers are no longer willing to wait for days or weeks for an available service technician. With access to an extensive source of highly qualified and talented gig workers, they won’t have to.
Endless pool of talent
Once a company has decided to expand its workforce model to accommodate the gig economy, there is a limitless supply of experts to meet customer demand. This is a huge asset for companies striving to meet their customer satisfaction KPIs.
These freelancers not only have the same qualifications, they have often had the opportunity to hone their skills for a number of different clients and across various business sectors. And since they are not location bound, they might often be able to get to your clients more quickly than in-house service technicians. This all adds up to quick, reliable, quality service.
Improving the employee experience via crowd-sourcing
So how can you expand on your current full-time employee business model to keep up with this trend towards a gig economy? The first suggestion is to incorporate gig workers by creating a crowd – a pool of certified and qualified service technicians consisting of your own employees as well as partners, subcontractors, and skilled freelancers. This ensures that there is always someone available for quick fixes.
Contractors will work closely and likely be considered full-time employees in the workforce of the future – and adding them to your org reduces the weight upon traditional workers, thereby improving the employee experience.
Thereafter you can integrate this crowd into a field service management platform that offers artificial intelligence powered task management tools and augmented reality training aids and guides, thereby guaranteeing customers will get the best person available to complete the job. Your field service platform should also use online and offline mobile solutions, so your crowd of service technicians only need a smartphone to stay connected and informed.
If the business benefits of gig employees aren’t convincing enough, consider that millennials and Gen Z are changing how they work. They want challenging work, and ample remuneration. But they’re also placing just as much of a priority on autonomy, looking to manage their time and be their own bosses. Companies wanting to attract young talent would be wise to meet their demands. In the end, everyone wins.