How Can Teams Evolve to Accommodate Contingent Workers?

May 16, 201712:15 pm1130 views

With the rising popularity of gig economy, employers are thus faced with an inevitable consequence of it all – to manage multigenerational workforce across geographies and get a grip on new workplace models coming to play.

According to a study conducted by Fieldglass in 2017, the share of nontraditional workforce will be 25 percent contingent workers, 34 percent even concentration of talent, and 41 percent traditional employees.

As number of freelancers, part-timers, or contractors pave their way into the workplace of the future, this phenomenon will bring enormous impact to how teams work and collaborate. How can managers develop an inclusive team to integrate with workings of this new workforce? The change towards more blended workforce working in tandem to meet organisation’s overall growth objectives is still in process.

A study titled, The Gig Economy finds that 74 percent companies surveyed intend to hire more freelance workers by 2020. The survey notes that within this mixed workforce, 93 percent companies identify teamwork as the key skill for both freelancers and full-timers.

Positive attitude toward collaborative culture is imperative to enable different types of employees teaming up with each other, to work on projects together. Unfortunately, while most companies acknowledge the significance of solid teamwork, it remains the top skill that they lack (32 percent), besides written communication (34 percent) and leadership (33 percent).

The demands of modern workplace require employers to adapt their business strategy with this continuously-transforming marketplace. With more people being in favour of seeking flexibility in controlling their own career pathways, working freelance has become the new norm.

As employees today choose to decide their own working preference, contingent workers will thrive and tend to be more motivated in their job. Working in a conducive environment, they will be more productive and able to yield great performance results. However, having contingent workers in your team goes beyond just allowing them to work independently.

Managers should implement clear communication channels, while engaging with the contingent workforce on a regular basis. You have to make sure that the blended team members collaborate effectively and support each other in their workings. Below are several insightful ideas on how teams can evolve to accommodate contingent workers:

See: Top 7 Engagement Activities to Boost Collaboration in Virtual Teams

  1.    Define standards and expectations

When it comes to working with a hybrid workforce, it is imperative for employers to set their expectations clear. Full-time employees have a thorough understanding regards company goals and standards, which allows them to work in accordance with the organisation culture.

However, gig employees do not have the privilege to undergo the same onboarding process, which makes them develop their own approaches to getting things done. If these differences are not addressed carefully, then there could possibly be a clash between full-timers and freelancers.

To prevent such case scenarios from being created, you should define the standards clearly and, set expectations right at the onset, while outline the core responsibilities and objectives to be met by both parties.

  1.    Upgrade your tools

Your freelancers might be unable to follow the conventional nine-to-five clock routine, like the other traditional employees. To ensure smooth workflow and seamless communication, business leaders should invest in upgrading their tools.

Upgrade your business tools to be in sync with the latest technological developments, to ensure speedy response and suave collaboration. Find out the right tools that will help you manage the mixed workforce. Such as for example, you can use cloud storage applications as the ‘Google Drive’ to share files and documents among coworkers.

  1.    Establish clear leadership

Murky leadership is a bane for every mixed workforce. As both full-time employees and freelancers deserve to know who’s in charge of what project, hence leaders should set establish seamless communication channels and set standard protocols.

Before assigning people to work a particular project, you should appoint the leader responsible for monitoring each team activity and recording progress updates, while setting explicit rules and realistic goals for teams to collaborate and work in tandem across geographies.

  1.    Facilitate better communication

There have been many cases of workplace chaos caused by poor communication between coworkers, managers and peers at work. Working in a company that adopts hybrid workforce models, wherein some team members have rare regular face-to-face meetings, effective seamless communication becomes much more important.

Leaders should work towards improving the team’s communication skills, by facilitating both ends to connect with each other, both offline and real-time communication. Not only relying on emails and phone calls to communicate, managers should enable in-person gatherings to create a more inclusive workplace culture.

In today’s globalised economy, companies are urged to quickly respond to these changing trends and adjust with growing demands of the freelance generation. With blended workforce becoming more prevalent than ever, leaders should carefully manage teams to assimilate contingent workers into the workplace culture and connect with other full-time employees.

Read also: How Do You Better Manage Freelancers in a Gig Economy?

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