There’s no denying that even the smallest organizations are global. Working across cities, states and nations is no longer just for multi-national corporations. Technology has brought us the Gig Economy where all you need is a phone and PayPal or a digital bank account to have a job.
It’s the future of the workforce and how nonprofits will be operated. That doesn’t mean you have to like it but you do have to be able to work in it since world economy gets more unified each day.
To be a leader you need to understand the Gig Economy, its impact on work and how to how successfully navigate the complexities of a remote workforce. That was the message of Willis Turner, CAE, a certified marketing trainer from Vancouver, Canada, during his session Managing Global Teams at the recent ASAE/Center for Association Leadership annual conference in Columbus, Ohio.
You need flexible work options to attract and retain talent in a tight job market. You must know how to leverage technology to keep the team — both staff and volunteers — together and engaged, he told those attending his session.
Digital transformation, globalization and demographic changes are all factors in the future of work, according to his presentation. What is The Gig Economy? Here are a few examples: Ridesharing such as Uber and Lyft, rentals such as Airbnb and work marketplaces such as Upwork.
The key to remote workforce success is communication and that will generally be in writing across many platforms. You must be clear and explicit in that communication. Some of the more popular communication tools are: Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, WeChat and WhatsApp, according to Turner.
Aside from the technology, although there is little to no actual contact, workers still need to feel connected. Leaders need to foster visibility, accountability, self-motivation and ensuring the staff feel valued on an individual and group level. Remote staff still need a social connection, Turner counseled.