4 strategies to help your employees develop a gig-worker mindset

January 10, 2023 Christina DeBusk

Delivery man grabbing packages from front seat

You might have read the title and wondered why you should even want your employees to think like a gig worker. They are, after all, on the payroll and not hired as a freelancer or contractor.

As reported by Harvard Business Review, there are several benefits of having employees develop the same mindset as gig workers.

They include the employee being better with self-management, taking more initiative, and having a greater focus on their skills than on actual roles. Gig workers also tend to help others learn and take greater ownership of their personal growth.

If this sounds like an employee that you’d like to have at your business, here are four strategies that can help your current employees start to think—and behave—like a gig worker.

Offer continual learning opportunities

People who freelance must constantly learn to stay relevant in their field. So, one way to help your employees develop a gig-worker mindset is to offer ample learning opportunities so they can do the same.  

Look for industry-wide training workshops available in person or online. Host a workshop or seminar at your business, even potentially enabling some of your more seasoned or advanced employees to lead these events and help train others with less experience or skills. 

Encourage self-management 

Gig workers don’t have a boss or supervisor looking over their shoulders every day, making sure they get their work done. Instead, they must self-manage their workload to ensure that they don’t miss an important deadline. 

To help your employees get better with self-management, make sure they’re clear on their roles and job responsibilities. This tells them the things they should be doing on their own with limited input from others, if any. It can also be helpful to help them understand how to prioritize their job duties so they know what must be done first and what types of activities can wait. 

Welcome questions and feedback 

People with a gig mindset don’t always accept things at face value. Instead, they’re typically the ones who question why things are as they are, and how they can be changed to make processes and policies better. 

If you want to incorporate a gig worker mindset into your business, welcome questions and feedback from your employees. Listen to their ideas and ask what they think. Let them know that it’s okay to not just accept the status quo and that you’re open to any suggestions that they may have. 

Create a flexible work environment 

Talk to almost any gig worker and they will likely tell you that no two days are the same. One day they might start working at 3 am, the next they won’t start until 9 pm. Or they might take a few hours off during the day to tend to their personal appointments, working later to get their tasks done. 

Granted, you may not be able to offer this level of flexibility, but every little bit helps. Maybe the employee could come in an hour later and tack that hour onto the end of the workday if they need, or they could start earlier so they can leave before their normally scheduled time. 

Another option might be to let them work four 10-hour days versus five 8-hour days to get their 40 hours in. As long as they get their required tasks done, give them some flexibility in terms of what their schedule looks like.

If you’re looking for ways to improve workforce efficiency, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions—which can help you save costs while increasing output.

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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