As we enter a new decade of work, the time is now for employers to prioritize investing in their workplace experiences for future success. This means maximizing business value by putting a critical focus on future-focused technology and people strategies, and importantly, rethinking the nature of the employer-employee relationship and worker arrangements.
Our 2019-2020 Pulse of Talent Report explores just this – the fluidity of today’s workforce and untapped opportunities to leverage alternative workers. It’s fitting that I write this from California – ever the trendsetter in employment law movements – to share our research findings, which explore how companies can better engage and enable the alternative workforce to thrive in the future of work.
Why the focus on the alternative workforce? These workers – freelancers, contractors, gig workers, contingent workers, side hustlers, consultants, to name just some of the terms used to describe these workers – is an untapped resource for companies looking to scale up and down at a lower cost, bring products to market faster, and focus on their core business. The fact is, the alternative workforce is now mainstream, and it’s time for employers to strategically leverage the full spectrum of talent available.
Companies have traditionally treated their relationships with these workers as more transactional and less strategic. However, to unlock the full potential of these workers, employers need to see them as more than a short-term stop-gap. Particularly in a time when companies experiencing critical skills gaps in the fast-paced, hyper-competitive context of business, alternative workers bring both experience and industry-agnostic skills to the table.
In fact, our recent 2020 Future of Work Report found that half of organizations in Canada and the U.S. plan to increase their engagement with the alternative workforce. The new normal, then, is that employers need to be more flexible to accommodate and engage the alternative workforce, and provide all employees with a thoughtful workplace experience.
For the 2019-2020 Pulse of Talent, we asked 1,115 alternative workers in North America about their reasons for choosing this path, their level of engagement, and the reasons behind their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their current work arrangement, as well as where they see themselves in the future. We also asked about key topics making news recently, such as their level of support for unionization, and the effects of alternative work on their mental health.
Here are key findings from the report:
The alternative workforce isn’t a passing trend – it’s part of a movement toward an entirely different way of organizing work. Check out the full report here to gain important insights on what matters to alternative workers, and how companies can strategically leverage and engage this growing workforce in 2020 and beyond.