Employee retention in the age of gig economy: Organisations need to go the extra mile to make employees feel valued

Published: July 6, 2020 6:45 AM

Trends suggest that providing career paths internally boosts employee engagement, which translates into retention.

With talent pools today becoming more diverse in their age composition and with Gen Z entering the workforce, many prefer to turn gig workers.

By Vipul Singh

The current pace of economic transformation, due to the adoption of newer technologies, has reshaped how people interact with organisations. This, in turn, has relaxed our structured work opportunities, contributing to the furthering of the ‘gig economy’.

According to a research by Intuit, the gig economy constitutes about 34% of the current workforce. The forecast is an increase of up to 43% by the end of 2020. The size of the gig economy is projected to grow by a 17% CAGR and generate a gross volume of $455 billion by 2023.

With talent pools today becoming more diverse in their age composition and with Gen Z entering the workforce, many prefer to turn gig workers. Considering these trends, it is important for an organisation to keep the workforce engaged with multiple programmes and initiatives.

Growth opportunities: A LinkedIn survey of 32 million profiles suggested that there is 62% chance of an employee staying after moving internally, as compared to 45% chance when someone stays in the same role. Another survey suggested that internal opportunities increase the chances of the employee continuing for another 12 months by 48%.

These trends suggest that providing career paths internally boosts employee engagement, which translates into retention.

Employee training and development: Organisations offering training and development to the employees have a 20% lower turnover rate than those that don’t. A designed development programme that focuses on technical and individual development can result in strategic motivation.

Flexibility and work-life balance: Incorporating technology in daily processes gives employees more autonomy over their work and provides the organisation with access to global talent. This results in greater work satisfaction and decreased chances of employee turnover to the gig economy.

Technology for productivity: When partnered in the right way with employees, technology can improve the overall efficiency, while helping create more bandwidth for them to do more meaningful work. By doing work that adds value, employees can test their capabilities, come out of their comfort zone and accelerate their growth. Encouraging employees to leverage such opportunities will build trust and accountability amongst the workforce.

Competitive benefits: The prime advantage of having a traditional job on a permanent basis is the benefits that come along with it.

Family health cover with an option to add parents/parents-in-law, child care, infant care, higher education assistance, transport during maternity are some of the benefits organisations must consider. A comprehensive benefits package will be hard to give up for many.

Gig economy will continue to expand due to the ever-growing opportunities and the rise of platforms that facilitate personalised remote working. Hence, organisations need to go the extra mile to communicate, engage and make employees feel valued to retain them.

The author is vice-president & head of HR & Communications, ADP Pvt Ltd

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