title - How the needs of the growing Gig Economy is influencing the way training is created

How the needs of the growing “Gig Economy” is influencing the way training is created

Dennis Kyle

January 21, 2021

What is the “Gig Economy”?

More and more people are working freelance or as solopreneurs through projects called “gigs” where they create a product or service for customers. The Gig Economy is defined as “economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector.”[1]  It can include anything from artists to writers to IT consultants and much more. The odds are pretty good that you’ve been in contact with someone who works in the Gig Economy recently.

Why is the “Gig Economy” Important?


The Gig Economy is increasing in size as more people choose to work for themselves, and more companies are choosing to hire gig workers for aspects of their business, so the market share of this sector increases. As people decide to forgo traditional employment opportunities and join the gig economy, it could reshape how business is being done on a larger scale.

How will the Gig Economy Influence Training Creation?

The expansion of the Gig Economy is influencing a lot of areas of business, including how training is created and conducted for traditional companies that interact with gig workers and for gig workers themselves. For SMBs that hire Gig workers, it’s important to understand they will need training that is often different from your typical employees.

 

Too Large to Ignore

The Gig Economy is continuing to grow and more people are entering into this type of business. As with anything that attains a larger market share, it’s important to pay attention to what it is and why it works. As the saying goes, “ignore at your own peril.”

Without understanding what gig workers are doing and their unique needs, companies may run into challenges incorporating them into their resource chain. This is where training can help gig workers understand how best to fit into your company’s infrastructure and accomplish what you’d like them to do,

 

Unique Needs

Gig workers are often solopreneurs. They need a different kind of training than an employee within a larger company where there is usually a fairly established training department and onboarding path.

Traditional corporate training is very focused on providing skills to teams or departments of a larger company to help increase performance. There is generally an understanding of corporate culture, there’s a management group in place, roles are understood and there’s a clear objective for the company to move towards in the future.

For many gig workers, they may not have any corporate experience and therefore need specific training related to your needs and requirements.

 

Time is Money

Gig workers often work from home and have to manage work in addition to their family, social life, etc. This often leads to a time crunch where the gig worker needs to get a lot of things done and doesn’t have the time to do it all.

In many cases, training can help gig workers to prioritize time and provide them step by step instructions for what they need to know to best manage their small business. Micro-learning in particular can be very important as it allows these learners to get bite sized morsels of useful information on-demand when it’s convenient for them.

How to develop training for Gig Workers

Now that you’ve seen some of the areas where your company could benefit from providing training to Gig Workers you utilize, below are some tips that can help you make training tailored to their unique needs to maximize their skillset and help both them and your company grow.

 

Identify Their Unique Requirements

Gig workers often lack training of any kind in business management or the needs of your business. Often they offer their services from a general range of skills but may not have experience in your line of business or industry your business services.

Training can go a long way to fill in the gaps to allow these workers to get enough understanding about how your business works to be able to better utilize their unique skillset to complete tasks and projects you hire them for. Additionally, by training these gig workers, you may find some of them function so well in your ecosystem that you may consider employing them in a larger capacity.

 

Explain Your Company’s Background

You should be able to easily explain to gig workers what your company is about, what they do, and why they do it. While gig workers don’t need a full onboarding training like your employees, being able to connect their contributions to your company’s goals and objectives, allowing them to feel like more than just a number.

 

Emphasize Support Mechanisms

Harvard Business Review describes 4 areas that a gig economy worker should connect with to thrive: Place, Routine, Purpose and People.[2] Growing roots into these four areas allows the worker to connect themselves into their business and connect their business into the world around them.

Making sure Gig Workers feel valued for their contributions while helping them clearly understand their purpose and routine can all be accomplished by targeted training.

Training for Gig Workers should emphasize where they can go and who they can turn to for support, both with their work and if they run into any people problems. While employees can go to HR, it’s not as easy for a Gig Worker to utilize that type of avenue to resolve personal conflicts in particular.

 

Provide Job-Specific Training

This almost goes without saying, but if you’re hiring a gig worker to accomplish a specific job, the training they receive should be tailored to the requirements of that job.

If you hire a gig worker to assist with marketing, for example, it would be advised to share brand standards, style guides, logos and other relevant materials with your gig worker to reduce their frustration from not knowing how to meet your needs due to lack of context/support and reduces your internal team’s frustration at work not being completed to your company’s standards.

 

Provide Realistic Goals and Outcomes

Training can often bring significant returns for the time invested, especially in larger companies where training methods have been tailored to specific company or department methodologies and goals.

For established companies such as your own, being able to plant firm, realistic goals for Gig Workers you hire is important because it helps them to feel connected to your business and know what your expectations are.

Training can be used to plant these seeds through providing a framework of what your business does, how they fit into that framework and the impact that doing their work correctly will have on the business.

Final Thoughts

The Gig Economy is continuing to grow, especially in today’s society where more and more work is being done virtually. There is a big opportunity to provide quality training for Gig workers tailored to their needs and the needs of your organization.

Through uniquely training Gig Workers instead of running them through your traditional onboarding process, you have the opportunity to help better understand your business and expectations, which in turn helps them to better accomplish the goals you set for them.

Positive Results™ can assist you with designing training for Gig Workers. Our focus on your company’s business process can identify and fix gaps that will help Gig Workers to understand the needs of your business and be better equipped to handle your needs now and in the future.

If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:

 

Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions

440.499.4944

https://PositiveResults.com

 

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gig%20economy

[2] https://hbr.org/2018/03/thriving-in-the-gig-economy

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