Did you know that by 2020 (yes, next year), 1 in 2 workers will be part of the gig economy having portfolio careers and numerous job titles to match. This has got me thinking about the impact this has on internal communications strategies – an area of work I have long been interested in.
Helping companies large and small to build positive and collaborative cultures, where employees, contractors and suppliers are well-informed, motivated and have a voice, is a rewarding area in which to work. But as flexible working becomes the norm, the harder it can be for employers to create a sense of identity, common purpose and culture across their teams of employees, freelancers and contractors.
The gig economy - with its agile, flexible and mobile workforce – now surely means that traditional corporate communications programmes are out, and omni-channel strategies are in. Personalisation is also key in order to reach, engage and interest. This complexity can be a tough challenge for HR and internal communications teams who can often be at the forgotten end of marketing, but who have such an important role to play in business success.
In this transient economy, careers are taking on different shapes and we are designing our own futures in ways that have never been possible before. This is both exciting and scary as traditional boundaries, career paths and safety nets fall away.
The growing prevalence of the gig economy has also led me to ponder on whether job titles will become less important as people collect different roles for different clients. For example, on a Monday you could be a ‘marketing manager’, but by Wednesday, a ‘writer’, and Friday a fitness instructor!
And do job titles matter as much to millennials and Gen-Z who favour rewards, collaborative working and benefits more than status? If not now, maybe they will as they climb the career ladder!
Of course, with digital disruption taking hold in every sector, job titles of the future may not even exist today. After all, who would have needed a cloud engineer five years ago? A weather forecaster perhaps?
I've certainly come across some unusual job titles in my time as a consultant, and most of these it must be said come from the public sector, where some are so long, they need a business card of the length of a ruler! One of my favourites from ten years’ back, must be ‘Director of the Future of Europe’ given the current situation we find ourselves in. I wonder if this role still exists? If it does, maybe it's transitioned from a permanent job to a temporary one as part of the gig economy!