Sometimes, it’s hard not to stop and ask ourselves this question. Is the entire world going to be crowdsourced like Uber? Now, please don’t be alarmed, but the trend towards using a flexible workforce of freelancers seems to be cropping up in almost every industry. That’s because companies can find employees who want flexibility and give them the tools needed for success. They can either conduct the hiring themselves or make it easier and use temp services for recruitment purposes. For example, a company can perform a background check on a driver, provide a tablet with a GPS application networked to their dispatch center, and then transform the person into an instant car service. Or, they might give writers a productivity platform to download on their laptops for publishing written content directly to client blogs. From what we’ve seen, the tech industry keeps producing more apps to increase employee productivity each year. The newest applications will also feature more instances of augmented reality.
What Does the Future Hold?
Here’s an example from the field of fleet management. A potential model for fleets that could gain ground is when companies provide vehicles and equipment and use more drivers on a rotating basis. They can recruit from a wider geographic area and perhaps get more skilled drivers wanting extra pay. This kind of fleet can operate based on a variety of shifts that fit drivers’ schedules. It can accommodate the ebbs and flows in the transportation business. Fleet companies might have to invest more in overhead costs than Uber, but they can increase their payroll hours as needed. All this sounds great, but the shift towards outsourcing to a flexible workforce has changed the landscape of fleet management and other industries, from event management to media services and hospitality. The changes in staffing models have caused business owners and managers to rethink what it means to employ a team, much less to find and hire an entire workforce.
Consider New Ways of Managing Teams
It helps to accept that not everyone on your team, either now or in the near future, will be a regular employee (at least in the traditional sense of the word team). They will be individuals who work for the organization some of the time, but they may maintain outside employment. They will commit to your company culture to the extent that they can succeed, and you’ll always have to keep their loyalty, especially if they don’t receive full-time benefits or retirement options.
The World Has Changed
Since some or all team members could be considered contractors, you will need more than a new mindset. You will need to adapt the strategies that you normally use to manage a team. Also, you will need to accept that your previous methods for team management might not work. You have to think like an Uber manager, or whatever it is that their leaders do. When you have a workforce that is dispersedaround a geographic region and connected to you mostly through digital communications, the messages that you send over email, text message, and voicemail are crucial. Choose the right method to communicate with them; ensure that the most essential information they will need is as clear as possible. These workers may not be in direct contact with you. As the team leader, it will be easier for you to bemisunderstood and harder for you to build a team culture. You will also have to determine early on if they are consuming your directions and informational updates and following your policies and procedures. If these things aren’t happening, then you aren’t being effective.
If the future will look different for your company, you could consider contacting us to help with recruiting temporary workers. You must adjust to leading people differently, but keep your focus on implementing your organization’s current performance objectives. Involve your staff in a new team culture and get them to deliver the expected level of service to all customers.