Five top tips to manage a gig economy workforce

Updated: Feb 21

HR ADVICE: It is no secret that today's workplace is changing, almost daily. It is becoming far more diverse, with agencies, freelancers, and gig workers now a key part of labour markets in every sector.

Technology is facilitating this change, with many workers opting for flexibility over the security of a full-time job. More and more firms are adopting this blended workforce of full-time and part-time employees. So how can HR teams best motivate and manage employees without the formal authority of an employment contract?

Here are five top tips to manage your gig workforce.

1. Get to know your staff

Building a relationship with all your staff shows that you care. Avoid falling into a purely transactional exchange by building the same kinds of relationships that you might build with full-time staff. In turn, they are more likely to respect your firm and its values, which is their key to providing high-quality work.

2. Be clear with the job role

When hiring temporary or casual employees, it is vital to provide a clear brief outlining the job role, deadlines, and expectations. As gig workers don't sit with your team daily, providing context will result in better work, and greater returns on your time and money invested.

In today's competitive market, hiring and retaining talent is already a challenging task. Starting by providing the big picture to employees will help gig workers to continue working for you.

3. Provide equipment to stay connected

In a blended workforce, employees will work from different locations and may have many time zones between them. To avoid chaos, all workers, permanent or freelance, need to be connected. It is often on HR's shoulders to ensure that each part of that team has the tools and equipment to do that.

Whether it is mobile data plans, or specific devices, providing such equipment means a closer team that can check, edit, share, and communicate information with each other, despite the geographical differences.

4. Provide, and accept feedback

Although gig workers may not work for your organisation every day, providing clear, concise, and consistent feedback is still a valuable policy for HR teams to consider. This gives freelance workers the confidence and reassurance that they are delivering quality results or what they need to change to maintain this particular relationship.

Feedback from employees is also important for the organisation. An engagement survey that includes gig workers, or even looks after them, specifically, can help ensure your organisation has the right policies to manage these increasingly common working relationships.

5. Don't micromanage

Gig workers often choose to work for themselves because of the flexibility in terms of their time and priorities. So don't try to recreate the same environment that these workers are actively trying to avoid.

To avoid micromanaging, adopt a clean onboarding process with clear outlines of the expectations for remote communication. If the proposed change is minor, trust employees' abilities and give them the authority to implement it. In turn, it will give employees confidence and trust for both parties.

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