Blended Workforce

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What is a blended workforce? 

The business scene is dynamic. It is constantly adapting to meet the needs of customers, new market trends, technological advancement, and business practices. In recent years, many organizations are exploring new options in staffing and personnel management. One such practice that veers from a traditional work structure is called a blended workforce. 

What is it? A blended workforce is when an employer combines a variety of employment arrangements in its staffing approach. It is called “blended” because the workforce is made up of employees with varying work arrangements. These include the following: 

What are the rewards of a blended workforce? 

A blended workforce offers many advantages for both businesses and their employees. In having a non-traditional framework of employees, organizations with a blended workforce are given more flexibility in terms of scaling or downsizing as needed. The company can have the exact workforce needed for a given period. 

Another advantage is access to specialized skill sets. For example, if a company needs an individual with a specific skill for a project, they can hire a temporary worker who possesses the needed skills. Hiring workers for special projects only when needed can save the company time and money. Since not all workers are full-time, they also save costs by not having to provide employee benefits for everybody. 

For employees, working as part of a blended workforce gives more flexibility and autonomy. Employees have more independence in working when they want and how they want. 

What are some potential challenges of a blended workforce? 

The primary disadvantage of having a blended workforce is disengagement. In a blended workforce, it is typically only the permanent employees who stay in the office regularly. Other team members may come and go as required like freelancers, temporary, and seasonal employees. Because of this, it can present challenges in building a solid company culture and a positive work environment for employees. There is a chance that some employees who work full-time may not see freelancers as regular team members. Another disadvantage is monitoring growth and performance management. It may be more difficult to give feedback and monitor independent contractors or temporary employees as they are not subject to the same performance management methods as permanent employees. 

How can organizations improve engagement in a blended workforce? 

To establish a strong company culture, employers should have a clear line of communication with all employees, whether permanent or otherwise. Regardless of work arrangement, all employees should undergo the same onboarding and training on company values and culture. 

Everyone should be oriented on the wider company targets and objectives. Knowing how their tasks contribute to the bigger picture helps promote collaboration and teamwork. Finally, companies can consider setting up a rewards and recognition system that all employees can benefit from. This is also a good way to improve engagement. 

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