In the times we live in, organizations are faced with several changes in the rules of the game and hence, must be able to adapt to the evolving situation quickly. We know of several iconic companies that could not deal with change and eventually lost their market position, customer confidence, and valuation. Learning from the past, organizations are keeping their costs flexible and strategies plug-and-play rather than cast in stone. They are increasingly partnering with other companies in the ecosystem rather than doing everything in-house. This shift in approach and mindset is one of the most significant changes that the business world has witnessed.
Organizations are going back to the basics, right from the question of ‘why do they exist.’ If we go to an organization and ask 10 of its employees at random to articulate why the company exists, we will know if the top leaders have articulated the purpose clearly. It’s the stark reality in many organizations that their purpose in life is not clear. At the cost of preaching to the choir, it is worthwhile to examine if the leaders take strategic decisions keeping this purpose in context.
The purpose statement can define what is core to the organization and hence, what is strategic to the organization. Everything else needs to stay lean and flexible so that one can ramp up the costs when there is a demand and ramp down when there is slackness. At the same time, for the strategic aspects of the organization, one needs external perspectives, and, sometimes, a certain kind of expertise for a specific task. All these point us to the direction of getting the experts who have the necessary stature, skills, and a track record.
Coherent strategy needed
In both situations, the company need not be limited by the resources it can afford, attract, and retain. For specific projects or tasks which hold strategic importance to the organization, one can take the services of an expert, pretty much like a doctor, a lawyer, a surveyor, a chartered accountant, or a beautician people go to. Organizations can define the scope of the service required, outcomes desired, and timelines, agree on a service fee for the gig that the expert offers.
For the non-core roles, an organization can outsource a program to another company that has the expertise of getting the talent on a fixed-term basis. They can either manage the workforce to deliver specific results or let the organization manage the workforce and generate the results for itself. This flexibility can be deployed in any function, right from sales, service, manufacturing, and supply chain to finance, administration, human resources, technology, and legal. Organizations have to put in place a coherent workforce strategy to ensure that their costs are optimal and long-term value is created sustainably. They need to get the right partners for outsourcing their processes and people. These critical elements will result in a workforce plan that is effective, scalable, and sustainable.
Win-win for all
This arrangement gives flexibility to the people in terms of their personal preferences, such as the organizations they associate with, the tasks they undertake, the time of the day they work and the activities they do beyond work. By virtue of gig working or flexible working, people get exposed to a wide variety of challenges and situations, which in turn helps them acquire new skills and valuable perspectives. Thus, they can deliver greater value to the businesses and grow individually.
We see increasing interest among the experienced talent to take up project-based assignments for companies and work there as bubble resources. After the project gets done or the deliverables are met, they plug out and move on to new pastures. This flexibility works very well for the organisation as well as the professional.
Secondly, employing gig workers helps organizations make a significant part of their costs variable in proportion with the demands they see in the market. And at the same time, they are able to focus intensely on the short-term goals and specific deliverables. They are able to access capable resources, engage with them meaningfully without having to plan for the careers of these individuals for the long run. This model helps the organisation stay flexible in costs and focused on their long-term objectives. It is a win-win for both parties : the individual gig worker and the employer organisation.
We see companies and individuals increasingly opting for an engagement of fixed-term work. That’s the way forward!