Blended Business World– Blended Workplace, Blended Workstyles: The Blurring of Organization Boundaries…

The ‘blended world of business’ is transforming organizations and bridging the gaps of uncertainty in the workplace… it’s the driving force that define the workplace of the 21st Century, e.g.:

Blended workforce; organizations are examining their core competencies and embracing the concept of a ‘blended workforce’ consisting of; traditional full-time employees, blended with  contingency workers, such as; freelancers, consultants, contractors, temporary…

Blended workstyles; organizations are embracing technology and decentralizing their workplaces with– remote access, mobile devices, virtual teams… which are driving an increasingly important component of workforce expectations, job satisfaction…

Blended global world; organizations are increasingly borderless with globalization, which is blurring geographic borders making possible the integration of new partners, new supply networks, new acquisitions to reach global markets and tap the talent of a global workforce…

blend thJULCYZEL

According to Daniel W. Rasmus; the composition of the workforce is steadily shifting from the traditional full-time employees to the rise of the contingent workforce; outsourced workers, freelance worker, contractors, boutique service providers, vendors… The blended world is a world of choice and becoming an integral element in business strategy… Its evolved from a highly competitive global environment that requires companies to have more flexibility in their workforces, more specialized workers skills, greater access to talent diversity…

Technology is the enabler– enabling organizations to manage projects, operations across time zones, country boundaries… it has blurred the edges of nation, culture, language… enhancing both the physical and virtual workplaces… Even the edges of corporations are blurring as mergers/acquisitions redefine industries, competitors,  markets… Hence organization are blending contrasting strengths of workforce diversity, and embracing– flexibility, agility, relevancy… in the composition of their workforces…

In the article Driving Forces Behind the Blended Model by Lisa Kovac writes: The blended workforce is characterized by organizations that maintain a core of traditional full-time employees who are supported by an outer-ring of non-employee workers… The full-time employees make-up the core competency of the organization and are vital to its  stability, growth… of the business. Whereas, non-employees workers (i.e.; freelancers, consultants…) in the outer-ring are knowledge workers… their work is often the day-to-day tasks, non-core critical projects… and turnover in this outer-ring is not as disruptive as it would be within the core group.

The advantage of an outer-ring workforce is that it can be easily adjusted to meet variable business demands, e.g.; sudden, unexpected surge or reduced demands due to economic or business conditions, without the ugly layoffs or panic hiring to meet demand… The point is that companies are looking more strategically at each open position to figure out if they really need a full-time hire, or is the work better suited to the outer-ring of contractors…

blend1 th

In the article Blended Workforce: New Norm by Rebecca Callahan writes: A blended workforce is one that consists of; full-time employees and contingent workers… and it’s quickly becoming the norm among  organizations, globally. Organizations are thinking more strategically about accessing the talent and skills they need, regardless of its source, to stay competitive in a highly disruptive global business environment; hence, the blended workforces model is being embraced as long-term trend… more than short-term response to an acute economic problem…

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; spending on contingent workers has risen steadily for years and has more than doubled in the last 10 years… The key advantage of blended model is use of free agents that enables companies to have an ‘on-demand’ workforce, which is critical in a world where– competition, new technologies, shifting business strategies, require greater agility in the workforce.

Moreover, organizations are combining a foundation of core full-time employees, with a stable of contingency workers to provide a scalable and balanced mix of depth and access to changing skill-sets… Concurrently, workers tired of career disruptions and insecurity are embracing the free-agent role as a way to have greater control of their lives. Often, these are the highest-quality talent with the most desired skills– people who are confident marketing their own abilities…

Hence for organizations to stay competitive in a rapidly changing business landscape, they must embrace a strategy that– acquires, nurtures, manages a blended workforce… Taking an integrated approach to the blended workforce requires changes on several fronts, e.g.; front-line managers must understand, embrace the importance and value of having a blended workforce… and  organization that tap into th ‘blended’ concept are looking to create– a flexible, skilled, cohesive, agile workforce that will have a significant competitive advantage… whereas, organizations that continue with more traditional approach will likely fall behind and find themselves in a struggle to compete…

In the article Blended Workforce: Benefits, Drawbacks, Solutions by Raymond Tsao writes: Blended workforces are not without their challenges, particularly when it comes to managing such a diverse group of workers… However, many viable solutions exist, which is why blended workforces remain on the rise… The blended workforce model minimizes the long-term risks and costs associated with an exclusively full-time employee roster… However, when transitioning towards a blended workforce, there are two inevitable hurdles that employers can and should prepare to overcome…

First, hiring such a diverse group requires a huge cultural shift within the company, which takes time for personnel to adapt… Getting an early organizational acceptance is essential to successfully manage a blended workforce, which means communicating the strategy to all stakeholders, i.e.; why, who, when, where… and providing a clear process in place from day-one…

Also, training and educating the contingency worker(s) is vital for a successful outcome, e.g.; appoint a specific person(s) who are responsible for coordinating the activities of these workers; who must be trained, given information, knowledge, access to tool… necessary to accomplish their tasks… Managing a ‘blended’ workforce is a real challenge, e.g.; schedules, rates of pay, devising unique contracts, multiple employers…

However, there is a reason for the rising trend in blended workforces– they create operational efficiencies, mitigate risk, access to specialized skills… But in order to have a successful outcome organizations must have a well-conceived plan with a strategy that is designed for specific business outcomes… there is ‘no one size’ fits all solution…

blend2 untitled

In the article Embracing Blended Workforce Strategy by Beth Mesechoff writes: One important change that drives effective blended workforce strategy is the growth of social media. Historically, finding free-agent talent has been a fragmented, ad hoc process… However, social media companies can take a more systematic approach, by creating an online presence designed to attract free agents… Because of the wide-reach of social media it can greatly expand and accelerate the entire sourcing process, by tapping into a large, growing infrastructure…

Many companies have capitalized on the expansion of social media to create high levels of transparency into their values, culture, practices… Moving forward, the need for a blended workforce approach will become increasingly important, as free agents become recognized as a critical resource of highly skilled talent available for on-demand assignments… But for it to work, organizations must adopt a focused and flexible strategic approach to managing the blended workforce…

Businesses in every sector are moving toward the growing trend of blended workforces, meaning they rely on a combination of workers ranging from– full-time employees, freelancers, consultants… This approach allows employers to tap into different talent ‘pools’ previously unavailable to them and it also provides executives with additional resources, which allow them to adapt to an ever-changing highly competitive business environment…

According to Suchita Dutta; companies are redefining their human resource portfolio with new and increased emphasis on flexible staffing… and employers are no longer using flexible staffing sporadically as a stop-gap measure, but rather a means for building a blended workforce, which is an integral part of a deliberate business strategy…

According to hyphen; a blended workforce strategy requires a clear understanding of all the demands of an organization beyond just– policy, process… it requires having the right controls in place… and the coordination, collaboration of all key decision-makers. It requires a complete understanding of overall business strategy, which is aligned with and supports the goals and opportunities of the business without limiting them…

Many organizations are beginning to realize that when competing for a scarce talent supply, the blended workforce within a total-talent approach is no longer ‘nice-to-have’ feature, but a growing business imperative… it’s key competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and leveraging the right talent, at the right time…

blend contingent-workforce-10-24

According to Shane Little; in today’s highly competitive, global  economy where market conditions are changing rapidly, a blended workforce offers employers the flexibility required to remain competitive… Also an organization’s agility is dependent not only on its technology but also on a talent pool of skilled, creative workers– a flexible workforce that can adapt with market conditions.

Organizations that get the right balance between permanent and non-permanent workers and manage a blended workforce successfully will have a significant advantage over organizations with a more regimented approach.