After I had my child, I began to question: Why is working a binary decision? I felt I had to go all-in, or all-out. It seemed futuristic to work part-time while also being a mom and an executive.
The Great Resignation exposed the problems of traditional workplaces, and workers began to vote by walking away. This accelerated the rise of independent workforce. We have the opportunity today to create a workforce that is fair and outperforms market standards.
What could we do and who could we include if we didn't have a "all or nothing" workplace system?
More women in the workforce will help to create a more inclusive workplace
The data supports the argument for inclusive organizations as they are more innovative six times over. Each 10% increase in intersectional equity for women and men leads to a 1-2% revenue increase. We are losing the voices of our employees due to burnout, discrimination and lack of flexibility.
Since 2020, the female labor force has been at its lowest level in 30 years, and 200,000 Black women and Latinas have left the workforce. We are losing the people we are most interested in, those who can drive innovation.
Before the pandemic, freelance work was growing. Now it is the fastest-growing sector of our economy. More than 70 millions Americans will be involved by 2022. In five years, half of us will be primarily working this way. It's not just for delivery drivers. The majority of the services provided in the economy over the last year were highly-skilled, including computer programming and information technology.
Consider that 25 percent of the work done by employees in an enterprise is performed by non-employees.
Flexibility is the main motivation for those of us who identify either as caregivers or as Black, Indigenous, or people of colour to leave traditional employment and move into independent work. The flexibility of this mode of work allows us to retain critical voices within our workforce rather than force them to leave.
Blended work ecosystems combine employees on payroll with contingent and freelance workers, agency partners and advisors. MIT Sloan reports that 93% of global managers view these diverse talent access points as their entire workforce. The importance of "work ecosystems" is growing, as are their scope and complexity.
Consider the advantages of a broader talent pool.
Keeping up with the competition and customers requires a talent ecosystem that is agile and fast.
Tips on Managing a Mixed Workforce
We use the principle of Highest and Best Usage (HBU) to build a workforce strategy that includes a talent pool. HBU is an operating system for culture that aligns the business priorities with talent distribution, creating a blended ecosystem of belonging.
Scope roles deliberately: To support an employee's career growth, start with their HBU. This will keep them focused on what they do best. Foster a strong culture in the company: A strong culture can be used to integrate non-employees within a company. Think about the economics. Independent workers are responsible for their own retirement, tax, and non-working hours. Profit and loss statements should be built with this in consideration. This will allow you to move skilled workers as your business needs change.