The gig economy is defined as “a way of working that is based on people having temporary jobs or doing separate pieces of work, each paid separately.” In recent years, there has been an influx of job titles, including words like “freelancer,” “entrepreneur,” and “self-employed,” and many are saying Millennials and Gen Zs are to blame.
The gig economy offers younger generations the benefits and flexibility they have been searching for while still providing the workforce with plenty of employees. In fact, 50% of U.S. workers will be considered freelancers within the next decade.
The gig economy isn’t new, but with the introduction of the Internet, it has become more popular. The transportation industry has seen an increase in gig workers—and with apps like Uber and Lyft—joining the gig economy is easy. Even with mixed feelings, it is clear that the gig economy will only continue to grow. For this reason, companies must apply these three tips to avoid losing their top employees to the gig economy.
1. Increase Employee Engagement
One major drawback of the gig economy is the lack of employee engagement. Gig workers have limited face-to-face interaction with their supervisors and colleagues compared with the traditional office environment, which offers daily interaction with superiors and peers, as well as the ability to build strong relationships. For this reason, many are concerned about the ability to build company loyalty and trust among coworkers within the gig economy.
One way to help increase employee engagement is to develop a great onboarding process. This ensures the lines of communication are properly established and also shows the employees the company is excited to have them on board.
2. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
A major benefit of the gig economy is its flexibility. Many traditional work environments are still hesitant to offer their employees the option of remote working, despite the fact that candidates frequently ask for it.
According to the 2018 Mercer Global Talent Trends Report, nearly 51% of employees want their company to offer more flexible work options. Flexible options allow employees more time to spend with their family and friends and can provide a better work/life balance.
Some companies are not able to offer remote work, but there are other options—for example, encouraging your employees to unplug once they leave the office. Technology has helped make communication easier, but it also created the expectation of constant accessibility, seeming as though the workday never ends. By encouraging your employees to unplug once they leave the office, it can help retain talent as well as eliminate the possibility of burnout.
3. Offer Competitive Benefits
Although the gig economy offers flexibility, it doesn’t offer reliable benefits or job security. One advantage that a traditional work environment offers is health insurance. The cost of health insurance is rising rapidly, and freelance workers are taking the brunt of it, especially because traditional offices generally pay a portion of employees’ premiums, which can help limit their overall cost.
The standard model also provides employees with 401(k) assistance and a retirement package. Tip: To attract and retain your top employees, offer a competitive benefits package to offset the attraction of a gig lifestyle.
The gig economy is here to stay, and companies are at risk of losing their top employees if they don’t step up and do their part. Taking time to create a welcoming onboarding process, a flexible work environment, and a competitive benefits package can help you win the battle against the gig economy. By implementing these three tips into your work environment, it will be difficult for employees to leave.
|Jason Carney, HR Director of WorkSmart Systems, joined in 2007. He has extensive knowledge in all aspects of HR, through his nearly 20 years of experience in industries such as finance, staffing, and technology. Carney holds a B.S. in Business Management/Human Resource Management from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Carney has often been described as a “business-friendly HR person” who understands how employment decisions affect the bottom line. In his free time, Carney enjoys golf, coaching baseball, softball, football, and basketball, and spending time with his family.