Dianne Crampton

Dianne Crampton

This is the 3rd segment of a 3 part series expanding on the original 2013 Business Trends blog summarizing the three most dynamic trends I see emerging after a lengthy recession.

Having touched briefly on each trend, I decided to go into more depth for my blog readers to give the inside scoop and a broader perspective of what I believe is coming down the pike for businesses. The third trend mentioned in the original blog post is the rise of the business consultant/coach and contract/freelance worker in the workforce.These industrious individuals will be rubbing elbows with CEO’s and employees alike and bring a wealth of information and experience to the corporate table.

After corporate downsizing became the norm over the past several years, many companies are operating with a bare bones crew. Retained employees are left to multi-task and perform multiple job duties due to hefty layoffs and budget cuts.

Coming into 2013, many organizations either lack the resources or are treading lightly in a still wobbly recovery. The recession taught business leaders that a massive hiring strategy right now is still risky. Business owners and corporate executives alike are skeptical on what lies around the corner. So what is the solution for these corporations as the economy starts to tick? They have two very distinct options.

(1) Onboard contract and freelance workers into the workplace

Bringing in highly skilled workers on a contract or freelance basis ensures that corporations and businesses don’t skip a beat. They step in to temporarily fill high profile and demanding positions such as IT. These individuals save on massive hiring costs experienced when onboarding new full time employees. There are no additional expenses incurred by the company such as workman’s comp, payroll taxes, health insurance, or lengthy training expenses.

Contract and freelance workers fill more than a vacant receptionist’s chair. These highly trained and schooled individuals include IT professionals, financial professionals, web designers, business writers, and marketing professionals. They are skilled and bring a wealth of knowledge from experiences within other organizations.

Studies have shown that businesses consisting of internal and external talent are positioned for success! Pairing “right fit” collaborative internal employees with outside advisors of varying expertise and perspectives instills creativity and ingenuity within an organization.

(2) Business Coaches and Consultants

Bring in a knowledgeable and experienced business consultant to guide a company through the waters of the “new business norm.” Most business leaders realize “Business as usual” is antiquated and will not work going forward. The only problem is when organizational leaders decide to do something, they want it done yesterday! Unfortunately yesterday meant budget cuts, the layoff of talented help, and undeveloped strategic planning to implement new initiatives when the economy turned around. And…that’s where a business consultant is worth his or her weight in gold.

Reasons to onboard a business consultant are varied…. So let’s take a closer look at the role of the business consultant or facilitator. What organizational scenarios would create a need to hire an external consultant? The reasons are varied as well as a little disturbing. Organizations this year will begin experiencing a mass exodus of employees. After years of stagnant wages, growing incivility in the workplace, and layoff fears, they are seeking greener pastures…not so much for compensation…but for stability.

According to a CEB (a leading member-based advisory company) study of 50,000 employees conducted during the second half of 2012, these employees are seeking stability as their number 1 priority with compensation coming in at number 2. They want to be with companies that won’t be closing the doors anytime soon and know where they are headed!

Now is the time to hire external consultants to retain those valuable team players and managers. This often includes fine tuning of the company culture and methods of operation. A skilled change consultant can smooth the transition and offer outsourcing advantages when refining new systems and training existing employees to take them over.

Business consultants also:

  • Bring a wealth of expertise and experience from outside the corporation,
  • Are objective and not emotionally attached to “pet projects”,
  • Instill accountability for project deadlines among internal employees and managers,
  • Offer outside resources not readily accessible to the organization,
  • Embrace open communication between management and front line employees, • Provide leadership development training and coaching,
  • Find workable solutions for employees and businesses alike to instill work/life incentives,
  • Provide ongoing training and certification to existing staff.

2013 will prove to be the year of the business consultant and contract worker. They are highly skilled and make good financial sense in a slow to recover business environment. If you missed the blogs for the first two trends of 2013, Moving Toward Team Cooperation and Emotional Intelligence and Bringing Employees On Board to Champion Change, now is your chance to catch up on all three trends for the coming year. If you care to voice your opinion on other emerging trends for this year, please feel free to leave a comment and let’s keep the conversation going!

Copyright TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton

About TIGERS Success Series

TIGERS Success Series is a team development consultancy based on 6 core principles that anchor high performance team dynamics. These principles are trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success. TIGERS offers licensing and certification to team building trainers and consultants interested in expanding their practice to serve organizational leaders from the break room to the boardroom. Learn more.