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3 Reasons Gig Workers Might Be Your Best Employees

Posted on October 30th, 2017 with No comments

Contingent WorkforeEveryone knows what assumptions do, but respected business leaders continue to make the assumption that gig workers are an inferior alternative to full-time employees.

Andrew Berlin, CEO of Berlin Packaging, found the competitive spirit of his employees and their willingness to go the extra mile most compelling, and he credited them with growing the company to its current annual revenue of almost $1 billion. He added that he didn’t feel contractors would have the same level of commitment to the success of the organization.

The chief operating officer of insurance software company Majesco, Ed Ossie, believes employees provide superior customer service. His company can hire for customer service talent and then invest long-term in these employees by providing valuable training opportunities. Because customers appreciate exceptional customer service, he believes they’ll continue to count on his company.

Both leaders have good points that are commonly held in many companies, but perhaps what they overlook is that gig workers are essentially their own organizations. When you hire them, you’re becoming their client, and they strive for customer satisfaction for the same reasons your employees do: Happy customers are continued customers.

Here are three reasons gig workers might turn out to be your best employees:

 

1. Gig workers have to focus on their customers’ needs.

Independent workers are constantly evaluating the needs of the overall market for their skills. Whereas traditional employees might study in a general field like accounting (knowing that companies need accountants), most gig workers have refined their area of expertise to a specific niche where their skills, experience, passion, and focus align with a market need.

A gig worker doesn’t just hold an accounting degree; she’s a classically trained accountant with experience in biotech whose passion for efficiency has led to a focus on process improvement in Fortune 500 companies.

To secure the specific gigs they’re best suited for, gig workers need to have a well-developed sense of the customer’s needs. They must understand the value of the results of their labor (their accounting can save your organization hundreds of thousands of dollars) instead of traditional employees understanding the value of the skills they possess (their accounting degree commands X salary, and the company must decide how to use it to save money).

 

2. Gig workers are independently responsible for their skill sets being marketable over time.

Focusing on customer needs means evaluating the market and evolving your skills. Large companies are continuing to increase their focus (and spending) on employee training and development in order to ensure their workforce keeps up with changing needs.

Meanwhile, gig workers take on this responsibility themselves. They use their experience with multiple companies — as well as their knowledge of market needs — to determine what skills are in the highest demand. Then, they look at their skill sets and hone strengths while shoring up weaknesses in order to be as marketable as possible.

 

3. Gig workers measure success by the output of their work and how it serves the customer.

Gig workers don’t do the same job every day and wait on an annual review. They can’t hide behind the bureaucracy of corporate management layers, where they can be working successfully in an unsuccessful company.

Instead, they have to demonstrate their value to decision makers in tangible, measurable terms. Instead of being hired and just staying on (unless they really screw up), gig workers must justify the spending of their clients on a regular basis.

Customer satisfaction is just as important to gig workers as it is to your organization. If they leave a client happy, they can count on future employment opportunities and, more importantly, the possibility of referrals.

 

Companies will always have full-time employees. What they should evaluate is the possibility of outsourcing some jobs to contractors. Full-time employees can meet the same expectations they met on day one. Not only do they keep their jobs, but they also qualify for pay increases almost automatically. Gig workers, on the other hand, are constantly proving themselves, which means they can only ever put their best foot forward.

 

Trevor Foster, VP of Finance and Innovation – Trevor is responsible for looking to the future for IES in order to maximize financial success. This is done through collecting and analyzing financial and market data, determining internal strengths and capabilities, and maximizing the return of assets deployed by the company.

Trevor has been with IES for more than 5 years in various capacities in the company’s finance department contributing to the overall strategic direction of its financial development. In 2015, Trevor joined the IES leadership team as vice president of finance, taking on increased responsibility for financial efficiency, effectiveness and scalability across all company departments. Prior to joining IES, Trevor worked in finance for the technology and realty sectors, holding various accounting positions at Games Workshop and Crye-Leike Realtors



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