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Learning From Each Other in a Blended Workforce

Written by

Jessica Marrazzo

Posted on

December 22, 2022

When skills shortages, rapid automation and digital transformation are running in parallel, it’s a real challenge for managers to ensure that they’re placing the right people at the right time. Consultants are a fast growing and important element of the blended workforce: one that uses a mix of externally-sourced talent employed on a missional basis with full-time workers. Over 660,000 freelancers currently work in the UK creative industries, already amounting to 70% of the total workforce in certain subsectors. What’s more, 90% of business leaders say that contracting in consultants will be somewhat or very important for achieving competitive advantage over the next three years. 

If a company has historically built their core team with permanent employees, the move to using freelance talent can feel a little against the grain initially. For those already in the business, it can feel counterintuitive to share information freely or work on a different schedule to those contracted in. Sometimes, employees can also start to question their own sense of belonging and professional identities too. So, how can we support our teams to help them truly reap the positives of working alongside independent contractors?

Rethinking the employee value proposition

Aside from the clear business pros that a blended workforce brings, employees will also be able to tap into the following benefits:

  • Greater clarity. Before bringing a consultant onboard, the company will often clearly define the objectives for the project. This usually means that everyone involved has a clearer picture of the roadmap before they get started, bringing cohesion to the entire team.
  • Tap into new ideas. Flexible workers are used to seeing lots of different businesses and ways of working. They offer a fresh perspective to those who have been in the same company for a while, which in turn may spark new ideas and greater innovation internally.
  • Use their expertise. Consultants are specialists in their own niche, so employees can take advantage of their knowledge to learn from each other and solve specific problems they’re facing in their own projects. 
  • Outsource projects and tasks. Bringing on additional resources can give the internal team a greater bandwidth, so they can focus on everything from higher-order work and strategic thinking to those projects that have been on the wishlist for far too long.
  • Move faster. When you work in an agile way, you can dial up and down resources as and when you need them. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review study suggests that 40% of businesses noted skilled consultants helped improve speed to market, boost productivity and increased innovation.

Taking the time to work with your existing teams to reshape the working culture together and reinforce the brand’s core values is definitely worth it. There’s also an opportunity to break down projects into discrete components, defining skills required and planning for points of connection between the two worker groups. It’s about focusing on the benefits the team will see in using an on-demand workforce, seeing consultants as a tap to a powerful new source of strength. 

Interested in learning more about how Dweet could support your business in building a blended workforce? We’d love to hear from you. Simply reach out to our team to find out more.

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