Engaging great staff in the gig economy

July 27, 2017

Infor HRx blog—a prescription for healthcare people-related challenges

This is my latest in a blog series, HR in 2020. Even as I typed those words, I realized that 2020, while sounding futuristic, is actually less than a thousand days away.

That’s why it’s not too soon to talk about the advent of the “gig” economy, a millennial-driven phenomenon where workers only commit to short-term, temporary assignments. This kind of staffing is most often associated with companies such as Uber, and is a by-product of mobile technology and its ability to put workers on call, anytime.

More than transportation, this gig economy is also affecting other industries, including healthcare. With workers attracted to flexible and varied experiences, how do healthcare staffing managers react? Already faced with staffing challenges, evolving quality care goals, and value-based reimbursements how do you continue to provide optimum patient care, provided by reliable and skilled workers?

The key is to embrace the technology and flexibility available to gig economy workers. In the Infor guide “How to engage staff and optimize care in the gig economy,” we discuss this “Uberization” of work, and how it can actually help HR add value and elevate their own role within their healthcare organizations.

The first step, as always, is making sense of the “Why?” at the heart of this movement. It all goes back to the millennial workforce, and their need to feel their work experience is personalized. I discussed this in detail in my blog Retaining the untethered workforce but, in short, these workers don’t expect or want to work one job, long-term. Instead, they are seeking different experiences, and that means seeking out a variety of jobs and careers.

This movement is enabled by technology, and that can be good news for HR, too. Mobility, connectedness and personalization in the hands of those doing the scheduling allows partnerships with IT and other departments, all of which can work together to add true value.

Aside from scheduling, technology can be crucial to getting the right staff, with the right skills, where they need to be. This is where employing a smart talent science solution comes in. A one-stop data source for staff skills and experience, work preferences and behavioral characteristics provides managers with smart staffing solutions. It also stands as a credible, real-time data source to enable better, cross functional decision making to ensure the best possible caregiver is assigned to the patient who will benefit the most from his or her involvement.

This isn’t to say managing in the gig economy doesn’t have its challenges. Managers will need to pay careful attention to how they classify workers. Are they temporary? Are they consultants? Who is responsible for their benefits? And, most importantly, are policies tight enough to ensure an organization isn’t at risk for violating employment law? It’s all very fluid. But it can be exciting, too, if we approach it as a movement that can put HR at the forefront of innovative staffing.

Marcus Mossberger, Human Capital Strategy Director, Healthcare
  • Healthcare
  • EMEA
  • North America
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