Gig will grow, but how to manage it effectively
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
Given the rapid and evolutionary changes brought about by Covid in “Work, Workplace and Workforce”, there is a broad agreement of the emergence of ‘Gig Workforce’ as a force multiplier in the growth of the economy.
As per a report published by Nasscom Community and Aon, the adoption of Gig workforce is rising and the ratio of Gig to total headcount which is <10% presently, will grow. Experts also point out another trend, going forward: Gig workers will no longer be in roles at the backend and support functions, Even mainstream and operational roles will start deployment of Gig workers.
Obviously, the increasing acceptance is driven by the benefit derived by organization, on one side in terms of flexibility in cost structure and opportunity of hiring of specialized skills and individuals, on the other side to pursue the variety in their career, exposure and freedom.
At the same time, it is important that we look at what could be the challenges in adoption of Gig workforce so that it can be factored in. While organizations have been, by and large, successful in deploying gig talent at junior level of management, the same template may not be useful when gig talent is to be deployed at the middle and senior levels. Given my experience of working as a part time CHRO and onboarding gig talent at these levels, thought will be useful to share:
- The challenges that can arise in case of Gig deployment at middle and senior levels.
- Actions organizations can take to address the above challenges.
Challenges that can arise in case of Gig workforce.
- Organization is not about collection of ponds; it is a river: A challenge before any organization that deploys Gig workforce is to ensure work continuity and synchrony of operations. Would the plugin and plug out form of Gig workforce allow for the same is something that organizations need to assess? Would that depend on the role and function where we use Gig workforce?
- Where to deploy: Where can the organization deploy the Gig workforce. Which roles and in which function would Gig fit in so to optimize the contribution?
- Confidentiality of data: Does the employment of Gig work force compromise the data integrity of the organization and expose critical aspects of the organization / customer data?
- How to motivate a Gig worker: What are the ways by which a gig worker can be motivated for higher performance. Does the organization have a plan to excite a gig worker?
What are the steps that organizations can take to address the challenges?
It is important that these above factors are factored in. From my experience, I have seen the following steps being useful, which have grouped under 4A’s – Ascertain, Acceptance, Alignment and Assurance.
- Ascertain: Identify the role (at middle and senior level) where and why gig talent would be deployed. There needs to be a reason – it could be strategic in terms of manning model, driven by capability needs or purely because of cost reasons. But be clear about “where and why”.
- Acceptance in Organization: This refers to one, hiring process and two, the way the individual is onboarded. A greater level of acceptance ensures cooperation and better information sharing.
- Use the same hiring process and rigor to select gig workforce that organization would use to select a full-time employee. This will give greater credibility to the individual.
- Ensure the gig talent is given a proper overview of the organization with the involvement of employees at different levels so that there is buy-in created in key stakeholders.
- Have a mentor within the organization whom the gig talent can approach and talk to.
- Alignment to Role and Structure: Align the gig talent horizontally and vertically within the organization. Design the role and responsibilities with specific milestones and timelines. This can be done through say, a OKR process which makes deliverables clear. Have a feedback process instituted whereby the regular feedback and course correction can be done.
- Assurance: Ensure there is proper legally robust contract between the organization and gig talent detailing the way data/ information will need to be secured and the consequences, if not done. From a continuity point of view, it will be better if the agreement can be done for a minimum defined period.
There could be more steps. But would say that the above steps are needed at the basic or ‘hygiene’ level for the gig talent to be optimally deployed.
Given that gig deployment will only increase across all organizations it is natural that leaders need to factor in the challenges and some action steps that need to be taken. Further, all the steps planned need to be customized as per the needs of organization.
Please feel free to write to me at email@example.com
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