The Research About Gig Workers
Previous research has suggested that those who work in the gig economy prefer it. McKinsey Global Institute found that 30% of independent workers were doing gig work out of necessity, while 70% said it was their preferred choice. An Upwork and Freelancers Union study found that 63% of freelancers choose gig work arrangements out of preference versus necessity.
Gallup analytics found that 64% of gig workers say they’re doing their preferred type of work, compared with 71% of traditional employees working for an organization who say the same. Among gig workers, independent contractors are more likely to be doing their preferred type of work, while temporary or contract workers are less likely.
Progress review discussions and coaching are less likely to occur for gig workers. Counterintuitively, social relationships with coworkers are more likely among gig workers — specifically for independent contractors and online platform workers. Technology appears to have closed the gap.
Some companies are competing for gig workers to fill a need, while others are competing against gig jobs to hire the best and brightest. Optimists claim the gig economy represents a movement toward increased entrepreneurship and worker empowerment. It may also give people who might not otherwise work, such as stay-at-home parents or primary caregivers for aging or disabled family members, opportunities to work. This may benefit the economy over the long term as new technology opens up untapped pools of productivity.
Clifton and Harter comment, “However, this trend could signal a deterioration in the social contract between employees and employers as some organizations hire more contingent workers to cut labor costs and overhead.” It’s The Manager (pages 164-165).
Bob’s comment: The social contract between employee and employer has been deteriorating for decades. And, the manager/worker relationship continues to deteriorate as evidenced by the continued low levels of employee engagement. It is time for all workers, contract, gig or traditional to take full responsibility for their profession development. From my observations, the greatest untapped potential for high productivity is the underdeveloped knowledge worker which Peter Drucker warned us about over 60 years ago.
A Development Solution: Building and Fortifying Skills that Transcend Teams
Today’s organizations are working beyond a single team. Advances in technology are disrupting marketing, globalization is forcing a new approach to working, and the teams of the future have never seen this level of diversity and agility. Both organizations and workers (of all types) need to create cohesive teams quickly to optimize results.
Based on the principles of Patrick Lencioni’s Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, the new Five Behaviors Personal Development Profile can harness the power of The Five Behaviors across the entire organization. It is designed to foster communication that can be used throughout an organization. By learning and applying a common language that begins by building vulnerability-based trust, all employees are empowered to rewrite what it means to work together — regardless of the type of worker they are.
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Better Decision-making Systems: Moneyball for Managers
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