The Benefits of a Blended Workforce

A blended and flexible workforce can increase employee engagement, well-being and productivity. 

According to a Spring 2021 trade report1, businesses across the UK are optimistic about the future as the post-pandemic recovery gains momentum. It is predicted that companies will seek to expand internationally, as well as develop their domestic market, embrace new digital technologies, solutions and products, and redefine their workforce talent mix.

The advantages of a blended workforce

A blended and flexible workforce that combines full and part-time permanent employees, contractors, casual workers and freelances are more likely to attract the most talented employees. Within this new style of working, it is imperative to treat all staff equally, regardless of their contractual status.

HR teams need to find ways that address everyone’s performance and learning needs, whilst keeping both permanent and temporary (temps) workers engaged and motivated, as there is a direct link between workforce happiness and achieving higher productivity rates. 

89% of British workers consider that flexible working would motivate them to be more productive2 and 87% of people want to work flexibly3, with arrangements that allow them to vary the location, timing, and amount of work they carry out.

By creating flexible roles within your company, you will allow workers to stay in work while maintaining a healthy work-life balance, thus supporting employee engagement and wellbeing.4

Through flexible working arrangements, organisations can attract a wider and more diverse talent pool, allowing access to the best person for the job. Hiring in this way allows for a more engaged workforce who will potentially generate 43% more revenue and improve performance by 20%, compared to employees who are disengaged5.

Positive business outcomes

By creating a blend of permanent and temporary employees who can work flexibly you can create a whole host of positive business outcomes:

  • Help reduce the gender pay gap.6
  • Improve employee engagement and performance.
  • Attract a more diverse talent pool.
  • Hire staff with the required unique skills.
  • Increase business innovation. 
  • Reduce absenteeism. 
  • Improve well-being.
  • Lower staffing costs.
  • Reduce staff turnover.7

blended workforce

How to create equality in a blended workforce

Within some organisations temporary or contract employees can be portrayed as peripheral workers, making them feel like outsiders within the workplace. Treating temps this way can alienate them and cause rifts with your permanent team, and any discord in the workplace can lead to a reduction in productivity.

Staff who feel undervalued at work may “check out” or “actively disengage”. These terms are used when a team member stops trying hard at work or starts to undermine leadership. In order to maintain a positive and productive workplace it’s important to make all your workers feel equal, regardless of their contractual status. To achieve this, you need to:

  • Give full training to temporary staff, as you would a permanent member.
  • Make issue raising in the workplace an easy and non-discriminatory process.
  • Listen to your temporary employees’ feedback.
  • Ensure that everyone is treated fairly, with no fear of reprisals if they speak up.
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of employment status.
  • Ensure that the legal rights for temporary or agency workers are observed.
  • Identify and prevent unconscious bias.
  • Watch out for indirect discrimination.
  • Put equality policies in place.
  • Be mindful of your language style when communicating to staff.

By creating a work culture that embraces flexibility, diversity, and equality, you can ensure employee loyalty and well-being, improve workforce engagement, and increase productivity.

In this series, we are looking to unlock the secrets behind empowering, engaging and motivating your entire workforce with the power of happiness. Although they are often under-represented within existing productivity and business development guidance, Blue Arrow believes that temporary workers are an integral part of the wider workforce driving your business. To find out more about how you can use happiness to improve productivity throughout your entire organisation, click here.

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References

  1. Santander Trade Barometer Spring 2021, [internet], published Spring 2021, accessed July 2021. https://www.santandercb.co.uk/sites/default/files/documents/trade-barometer-spring-2021.pdf
  2. People and Productivity, flexible working, [internet], published October 2017, accessed July 2021. https://www.business.hsbc.uk/-/media/library/business-uk/pdfs/productivity-report-2017.pdf
  3. The Timewise Flexible Jobs Index, [internet], published July 2018, accessed July 2021. https://timewise.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Timewise_Flexible_Jobs_-Index_2018.pdf
  4. CIPD, Flexible Working: the business case [internet], published November 2018, accessed July 2021. https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/flexible-working-business-case_tcm18-52768.pdf
  5. People and the bottom line, [internet], published 2008, accessed July 2021. https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/448.pdf
  6. All Jobs should be advertised as flexible. Here’s why, [internet], published 09 April 2018, accessed July 2021. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/04/why-flexible-working-is-key-if-shared-parental-leave-is-to-have-a-lasting-impact-on-the-gender-pay-gap
  7. Timewise, Moving up in retail, [internet], published 2020, accessed July 2021. https://timewise.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/1880-Timewise-Retail-Flexible-working-report-10.pdf

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