How Retailers Can Manage the Growing Contingent of Flex Employees
We have to have both of these to work, and, of course, the technology and the data to share this with all parties. We can simply provide easy access through technology, matching of the correct folks with the correct needs — something that we call the precision matching system — that we built. All our technology is proprietary, and it’s all ours. Then we can give the support to the retailer, with all the data, and we can give the support to the folks doing the work. We believe this creates the next generation of the flex work, or the support system of this transition into the flex work.
What we’ve been able to do is, once we have the infrastructure support for both parties sharing the data, then we can get bespoke-like, in certain instances, to create some of the nuances that are needed by certain retailers. So it is, I believe, very important that our technology, although it is standardized to provide the outcome that we want in pricing and support and care, allows us to be able to offer some nuanced differentiation, depending on the needs of our customers.
PG: What do you think is the future of the flex workforce at food retail, and how will companies have to deal with it?
TF: Within five years or less, 50% of the work needed, the support work that we discussed before, will come from flex work relationships and a flex work platform. That, I don’t think, is going away. If we believe half of the work is going to come from flexible work, we then have to have that easy access, on-demand, for both retailers and workers. And then what we focus on, and what we continue to focus on, is ushering in the Care Economy.
The next part is you need an app for the flex workers that is going to provide the sustainability and the community and the support system to make this viable into the future. We need to make it easy, not only to get on it, but to also evaluate themselves, have the resources and the dashboards, and all of the services and support to do it.
It’s our responsibility, I believe, as citizens to provide the correct support and platform to give easy access for folks to live in that environment. It’s going to benefit them, and it’s going to benefit the retailer. We’re encouraged that many others will join this mission. It’s in their best interest, not only as great retailers, to survive, but also as great citizens and providers to our society. It’s not often that the convergence of a trend and generational change is happening, that the constituents from either side actually want what’s happening. That’s pretty remarkable. And the outcomes are wins for the retailer, survival, margins and the folks doing the work.