gig employee

Managing Expectations: How To Engage Gig Employees?

In the gig economy, employees have multiple expectations of their employment – ranging from minimum wage to overtime pay to benefits. In the age of the gig economy, it’s important to consider your employees’ varied expectations and needs. In addition, not all work will be done in an office setting; many employees may work from home on their schedule. Thus, it’s essential to be clear about expectations from each employee and to set clear boundaries for when and how they can do the work.

To manage these expectations, teams must be able to communicate effectively with their employees and have a clear understanding of their rights and obligations. This blog provides tips on how to do just that. We’ll explain the gig economy, why you should add gig workers to your team, and some tips for managers who are figuring out how to work best with them.

What is the gig economy?

The gig economy is a recent phenomenon that refers to a system where people earn an income by performing work autonomously, typically through online platforms. This type of employment has increased in popularity due to its flexibility and low overhead costs. In the gig economy, employees are usually self-employed, and their relationship with you is limited to arranging specifics related to the job. Employees are also responsible for setting their hours and working per their schedules.

The benefits of the gig economy include greater freedom, financial independence for employees, autonomy, and control over one’s job situation – which employees value highly. Additionally, it can be rewarding because there is often an opportunity for rapid growth if you meet they meet expectations. However, like any other type of employment arrangement, there are also risks associated with this type of work, such as not having high accountability or finding suitable candidates to hire with your team.

What are gig workers?

Gig workers are people who work independently, sharing the work they do with others in the gig economy. They are self-employed and typically have little ties to their employers beyond what is required for their specific job. They work on a project or task basis, typically for short-term engagements. Gig workers can be freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, or temporary employees who fulfill varying staffing needs. They usually carry niche expertise or general know-how over essential functions that teams cannot find in-house.

Why should you add gig workers to your team?

Adding gig workers to your team can be beneficial for various reasons. A few benefits that managers can get by having gig employees are:

Flexible workers and style of working

Having gig workers on your team can be a great way to work in a flexible manner. Gig workers often work with short-term projects or engagements that give the employee more control over the working style and pace. Additionally, gig workers generally do not adhere to the work hours set for permanent employees. For teams that believe in flexible work, gig employees are a great addition. They set their hours and work as per need personal schedules. Their working style is designed to be adaptable to contingencies and working around multiple tasks – critical skills valued by efficient teams progressing in fast-paced environments.

Specialization and expertise

Adding gig workers to your team can also be beneficial for specializing and developing expertise. Bringing specializations to the team allows managers to combine different worker skill sets, which can lead to an improved product or service. Gig employees are generally specialized employees who focus on particular niche areas. Their in-depth knowledge is an excellent asset for teams who do not have the same facilities available in-house. In addition, gig employees present a collection of experienced workers. As a result, the managers can directly work with employees who add value to their teams without spending on training and development. It is a great opportunity for bootstrapped teams to access talent pools and varied skill sets.

Reduce overheads

Another major benefit of gig work is that it can help reduce an organization’s overhead. Gig work often uses technology platforms and software applications, which are more cost-effective than traditional methods. In addition, the utilization of freelancers allows for quick turnaround times on projects which typically results in a reduced time frame for delivering high-quality products or services to customers. As a result, gig work provides organizations the flexibility they need without incurring heavy costs associated with traditional employment options. Moreover, their training needs and operational overheads are minimized as they typically work remotely. You may not need to provide the same mentorship to gig employees that you need for full-time employees.

Cross boundaries that limit recruitment pool

Gig work can also offer managers the opportunity to recruit workers from different backgrounds. With gig work, there is a reduced emphasis on traditional employee characteristics such as age, education level, and job experience. It allows managers to tap into a wider recruitment pool that includes people with diverse skill sets who are not usually available through an organization’s current workforce. It overcomes geographical limitations easily. In addition, freelancers often have more flexibility than employees in traditional employment arrangements and can work remotely, which opens up new opportunities for training and development. As a result of all these benefits, gig-based organizations have greater access to talented workers who can fill a wide range of positions.

Build competitive teams

Traditional recruitment methods can be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale. Gig work allows organizations to quickly find the workers they need by using a freelance workforce that is available on a short-term basis. As a result, it becomes possible for firms to build competitive teams that can meet and adapt to customers’ demands rapidly. In addition, freelancers usually have different skills and abilities, which are harder to get in cost-effective ways through full-time employees. Resultantly, teams can fall behind their competitors. By effectively using gig employees, the managers solve this problem. Their teams get equipped with the workforce they need to achieve their goals. Therefore, gig work offers organizations an advantage when competing against their rivals.

What are the challenges in working with gig employees?

The gig economy is proliferating, and employers face challenges when managing their employees’ expectations. Often, gig employees are independent contractors, which means they don’t have regular hours or a fixed salary. As a result, it can lead to misunderstandings between employers and employees.

High demand for autonomy

Gig workers often have a high demand for autonomy and self-expression. They need the freedom to work on their terms and set their goals. However, this can lead to problems when these employees are not given enough direction or guidance. If managers do not adequately supervise gig employees, the gig employees on their teams might diverge from the team’s goals or objectives. As a result, gig employees need employers who can provide clear instructions and expectations from the start so that misunderstandings don’t occur in the first place. For teams that run on rigid schedules and norms, joining hands with a gig worker can present a considerable challenge.

Challenge of finding the right people for your team

Finding the right gig workers can be complex. Not only do you need to find individuals who are excited about the opportunity, but you also need to ensure they’re compatible with the team’s objectives and culture. Unfortunately, some gig workers might not fit well with the team’s work ethic or expectations. As a result, it can be hard to get the best out of them and keep them on board for long periods. Therefore, finding the right person with the appropriate attitude and skillsets is a problem that managers need to tackle.

Collaboration problems

Collaborating with gig workers can still be challenging as they may not identify with the team’s goals and values. When managers do not guide gig employees properly, they might work independently without consulting the team. It leads to problems in the form of confusion and discord within the team. Additionally, if employees don’t follow instructions or expectations, it can result in negative feedback that could damage the employer’s reputation. To overcome these challenges and get the most out of gig workers, managers should foster a collaborative environment where everyone is willing to share ideas and collaborate towards a common goal.

No scope for coaching relationships

Another problem managers face when working with gig workers is the lack of coaching relationships. When individuals work on a freelance basis, they are usually assigned specific tasks or timelines. As a result, outside the direct working relationships, they may not build relationships with other team members who can benefit by learning from their experiences. It can lead to problems in the form of developmental delays among team members.

Ethical concerns

The concerned stakeholders have identified several ethical issues with gig work. These concerns include workers not having the same employment rights as full-time staff, working in an insecure environment, and exploitation by employers. Managers looking to work with gig workers should be aware of these issues and address them appropriately. When managing expectations with gig workers, fostering a safe working environment that meets their needs while also meeting the organization’s standards is essential.

How can managers effectively employ gig workers in their teams?

When it comes to employing gig workers, it’s essential to manage expectations from the start. Setting clear boundaries and expectations is the key to success. Managers should provide feedback and praise regularly to keep workers motivated and on track. In addition, gig workers should be given a minimum wage, overtime pay, and vacation days following the law. Finally, it’s important to ensure the workplace is safe and clean – gig workers deserve the same standards as everyone else! By following these simple tips, managers can successfully manage the expectations of gig workers and ensure a smooth and successful work experience.

Focus on communication

One of the most important things managers can do when managing gig workers is to focus on effective communication. They should communicate with workers both in advance and during the work day. Workers need to know what’s expected of them, and monitoring worker performance through feedback will help ensure that goals are met. Additionally, managers should provide necessary induction, so workers understand their responsibilities and the organization’s culture. By providing clear information and supporting worker success, managers can create a positive work environment for gig employees. It is critical because gig employees can quickly fall apart from the rest of the team owing to the distance and lack of relationships within the team.

Recognize your needs accurately

As an employer, it’s essential to understand your team’s needs and how gig workers can help meet them. For example, gig workers may be an option if you need a worker for a short-term project but don’t have the workforce available. In addition, you should clearly understand what skillsets and competencies you seek from a potential addition to your team. It will help you pick the right candidate you can join seamlessly.

Build a habit of exchanging feedback

One of the most important things a manager can do to ensure worker success is to build a habit of exchanging feedback. Managers should give feedback early and often during and after completing each task. It will help workers know what they need to work on next and provide critical feedback on their performance. Furthermore, managers should ensure that all team members receive regular updates so that communication is ongoing and transparent throughout the process. In addition, managers can take feedback from gig employees on their team to understand how they can make the work environment more comfortable.

Cultivate a sense of belonging

A sense of belonging is critical for gig employees, providing a foundation for teamwork. Managers can help create this by offering opportunities to socialize and connect with the team. In addition, managers should ensure that tasks are explicitly tailored to the employee’s strengths and do not present unrealistic expectations. Additionally, regular feedback and positive reinforcement are vital in creating a thriving work environment for gig employees. In the absence of a feeling of belongingness, the employee may be unable to connect and put in their best efforts for the assigned tasks.


The gig economy is a growing trend that has the potential to revolutionize the way we work. Adding gig workers to your team can alleviate some of the challenges faced in the traditional workforce. In addition, by understanding the challenges and employing strategies to manage them, you can work with gig workers to the best of your ability. Check out our blog for more helpful tips on working with teams and other challenges managers and leaders face!

Learn how managers can leverage the gig economy and overcome common challenges by assessing our free effective delegation toolkit.

Get the insights you need to make the most of your team’s gig employees!

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