Top Strategies for Effective Employee Engagement in a Gig Economy

Last Updated: 

July 12, 2023

The gig economy is on a continuous upward trajectory around the world, but that should come as no surprise. Driven by technological advancement and higher accessibility to a global workforce and put into high gear by the COVID-19 pandemic, the gig economy is currently booming and will continue to reshape the business world as we know it. Now, there is no denying that the gig economy, should you choose to tap into it, can significantly boost the efficiency of your business.

While contingent workers and outsourced talent can push your company forward in many ways, though, it’s also important to note that the gig economy can bring some managerial problems to light. Mainly, it can be difficult for business leaders to effectively engage and motivate their gig workers. And as we all know, employee engagement is one of the keys to higher productivity in your team, but also for long-term success and growth.

So, let’s tackle this problem head-on and give you the top strategies to engage your employees more effectively in the current gig economy.

Key Takeaways on Effective Employee Engagement in a Gig Economy:

  1. The Gig Economy is Flourishing: Propelled by technological progress, increased access to a global workforce, and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the gig economy is thriving. Engaging gig workers can enhance a company's efficiency, but it also presents managerial challenges.
  2. Incorporate Gig Workers into the HR Lifecycle: Even though gig workers are not permanent, they should be part of the company's HR lifecycle to ensure productivity, culture, employee satisfaction, and motivation. The three pillars of this cycle are effective onboarding, performance management, and offboarding.
  3. Prioritise Employee Health and Well-being: Given the current challenges, it's vital to focus on the individual well-being of all workers. Connecting with employees and providing support during these trying times can boost motivation and productivity.
  4. Hire the Right Gig Workers: With the gig economy, companies can tap into the global talent pool. However, businesses must navigate various local laws and regulations to ensure compliance when hiring contingent workers, especially in diverse markets like Europe.
  5. Facilitate Efficient Communication: Streamlined communication is key to productivity. It's essential to establish a clear communication hierarchy, introduce a centralised communication platform, and implement a comprehensive project management tool to ensure smooth collaboration between full-time and gig workers.
  6. Promote a Thriving Company Culture: Even though gig workers are not permanent employees, they should be integrated into the company culture. Their assimilation into the company's values and culture can enhance productivity and morale.

In a nutshell, businesses can leverage the booming gig economy to achieve their goals by effectively engaging and motivating both full-time and gig workers.

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Start with your HR lifecycle

Firstly, it’s important to note that business leaders tend to make one very important mistake that’s not as obvious at first – they don’t include gig workers in their HR lifecycle. At first glance, you might think to yourself that this is an unnecessary process, because after all, contingent workers are not here to stay, and they are not a part of your full-time employee collective. And you would be partially right.

You see, your HR lifecycle has three important pillars that help push the company forward:

These are not just random processes some HR guru made up, they are processes crucial to productivity, culture, employee satisfaction and motivation, retention and acquisition, and much more. If you want to engage with and motivate your gig workers to do better work, then you need to properly onboard them, monitor and improve their performance, and properly offboard them when the time comes to say goodbye. Performance management is a key aspect of this lifecycle, and it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the type of performance report that can effectively track and measure your gig workers' productivity and engagement. Performance management is a key aspect of this lifecycle, and it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the type of performance report that can effectively track and measure your gig workers' productivity and engagement.

Focus on employee health and well-being

People all over the world are struggling nowadays emotionally, psychologically, financially, and in many other ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many insecurities to our everyday lives, and now more than ever before we need the support and understanding of our peers and leaders during these difficult times. Engaging with your contingent workers and full-time staff is no longer just about team building or several words of praise, it’s about truly caring for the individual and their well-being.

Connect with your employees to see how they are doing and how their needs are evolving in these trying times. Give them the tools and the support they need to stay fit and well whilst working from home, and use a personalised approach in your communication with each worker. This will show them that they are not alone and will motivate them to give back to your company and achieve better results.

Find the perfect workers for your company

The gig economy has opened numerous lucrative opportunities for companies looking to access the global talent pool. Now more than ever before, contingent workers are easier to reach and hire from abroad, but that doesn’t mean that sourcing talent is easy or that ensuring legal compliance is always a straightforward process.

International companies looking to source talent in the European Union, for example, need to come up with compliant contractor workforce solutions for Europe and its various local markets where laws and regulations differ from country to country. Ensuring compliance not only minimises legal risk, but it also allows you to source, engage with, and nurture the most talented contingent workers in your organisation.

Communicate more effectively with your teams

Effective communication is a foundational pillar of productivity nowadays, whether you’re running a localised, decentralised, or international team. One of your top priorities should be to minimise communication bottlenecks and allow your full-time employees to communicate and collaborate with your gig workers seamlessly.

To do this, you should:

  • Establish a clear communication hierarchy. Everyone in your business should know exactly whom to communicate with and report to.
  • Introduce a centralised communication platform that everyone in your business can use. This will come especially handy when handling big projects like planning a business conference.
  • Implement a comprehensive project management tool that will allow your contingent workers and full-time employees to collaborate efficiently and effectively.

Strive to uphold a thriving culture

Finally, make sure to bring your gig workers into the company culture and help them internalise your values. While they are not your employees, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to feel like they’re a part of your team, and furthermore, becoming a part of your culture will elevate their productivity and happiness.

To that end, be sure to help your contingent workers internalise your values and the culture everyone shares in your organisation. You can do this with traditional workshops and through your onboarding process, but you can also do it through one-on-one meetings, group meetings, collaboration, and of course, by being a leader.

Over to you

The gig economy is booming around the world, and now’s your chance to capitalise on this lucrative trend. Make sure to do it right by engaging and motivating your full-time and contingent workers, and you should have no problem achieving your short, mid, and long-term goals.

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