As a talent leader, you have probably noticed that today a growing number of Malaysians are opting for alternative models over traditional, full-time, permanent roles. Part-time, contingent, contract, temporary, freelance, independent contractor, on demand online and platform working are on the rise. This development can be called as “NextGen Work”. Businesses and people want choice, flexibility and alternative ways of working that build resilience for less predictable futures.
Globally 87% of workers are open for NextGen Work, 80% of workers say that NextGen Work is about learning and using new skills, 90% of Next Gen Workers enjoy it, and 81% of NextGen Workers choose it not because it is the last resort.
In Malaysia, the youth is becoming increasingly drawn to the gig economy lifestyle, which is all about freelance gigs and short-term jobs where “giggers” are free to choose where, when and how they work. Mirroring global statistics, 68% of freelancers in Malaysia choose to freelance in spite the availability of full time jobs.
This uptake for freelance jobs was reported by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in August 2017 as the Malaysian freelancing economy growth increased by 31%.
Why is this uptake you might ask? Well NextGen Work allows you to supplement income over the short-term, provides freedom to explore different roles and develop in-demand skills to be more employable over the long-term. You can also control where, when and how to work, potentially reducing stress and allowing flexibility for Life Work Balance.
So, if there is such an increased interest in NextGen work, if your company ready to adopt new work models? Here are initial questions you might want to consider:
1. Where to start with NextGen Work Models?
If your organization is new to the concept of NextGen Work, it will be useful to try different models in controlled environments. These will present themselves as case studies as to whether to expand the approach or try a different one.
It will also be useful to see what types of work models do your current employees prefer. You wouldn’t want to spend time and effort on developing work models that no one wants.
If your company has already adopted some forms of NextGen Work, you can start looking at ways to replicate elements of what has worked into new models. For example, if you currently employ contractors, perhaps it will be good to look at freelancers to assist certain projects.
2. How to measure performance of Gig workers?
One of the questions we get from employers is how to track performance from someone who works from home for example? Well, for us, performance is determined by results and not by the duration a person spends in a workplace.
To adopt NextGen Work models, you should revisit the methods applied in employees’ appraisals and KPI setup activities. You will most likely need to develop individualized performance plans for every employee. It should be based on clear and transparent deliverables for which the employee is accountable for.
3. Are your compensation schemes ready?
Just as you are revisiting performance measurement, you will need to tie performance metrics to compensation packages. In many instances this might require a renegotiation exercise with your staff. If done efficiently, this can prove to be a valuable opportunity to increase employee performance, satisfaction, and at the same time reduce costs.
For example, a working mother might willingly accept to reduce her basic salary if she works from home since she will be saving on transportation and occasional child day care services.
Basically rewarding staff should be based contribution rather than other factors such as title, or tenure.
4. Do you have the necessary infrastructure to support the new work models?
NextGen Work is enabled by technology. Adopting new work models will require your organization to have an IT infrastructure that can support this transformation. Cloud services for file sharing and collaboration will be of paramount importance. Applications that will enable performance measurement and remote access to internal databases will definitely be another consideration. All of that should be covered with solid Cyber Security policies and tools.
5. What is your leaders’ sense of urgency?
A key question to address if you want to initiate and change process. Without the leaderships’ buy in, it will be unlikely to transform such a critical component of any organization. Chances are, if your organization has no forms of NextGen Work models so far, your leaders are probably lacking the sense of urgency. So you will have to spend some time to develop a compelling case to convince them with your plan.
Answering the above questions will give you an indication of where your company stands and where are the gaps that need to be addressed prior to initiating new work models.
Providing access to the labor market. Filling the void of career guidance. Boosting incomes. Supplementing pensions. Providing labor market mobility for people and business. Offering life-work balance for long careers. Nurturing learnability. Preparing people for disruption from technology, automation and globalization. Developing in-demand skills, on-the-job. This is why people are choosing NextGen Work. And this is why business leaders and policy makers must collaborate to find the best balance of flexibility and responsibility.
To know more about NextGen Work models, visit: https://www.manpowergroup.com/workforce-insights/world-of-work/gig-responsibly-the-next-gen-at-work