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21st Century Working is all about making Work, ‘work’.

The fight for flexible working rages on with little of the ‘right kind’ of support coming from the UK Government. Redundancies are on the rise and people are quietly quitting. Automation is up (again) and the cost of living is winning the race, versus our wages. What are we to do?

Making Work, Work, has got to be the number one top priority for Employers, Employees, Contractors and the Government, because as of right now, we are in a total shambles.

In my role for the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of work, I spend a lot of time designing ways of working that not only benefits the people in the business, but that also fiscally benefits the business too. Now that may seem an obvious way to design a work method, but most flexible working advocates (the 4 day week, hybrid working, #flexappeal et al) rarely champion work solutions that are fit for both the worker AND the employer. Yet here at The Find Your Flex Group, it is core to our beliefs that everything we advocate and do, breeds sustainability, flexibility, security and balance. That is why we advocate for Outcome-based working, a flexible resource architecture and is why we now provide a Managed Service Provision (MSP) to our clients, to enable a targeted operation model change, that starts with the PEOPLE in RECRUITMENT.

Now there are obvious blockers from people when I start talking about Outcomes, today I hope to answer most of them once and for all…

Can all employees benefit from outcome-based working, regardless of if they are PAYE, Contingent staff OR contractors?

Yes, all employees, including PAYE employees, contingent staff, and contractors, can benefit from outcome-based working. Here are a few ways in which each group can benefit:

  1. PAYE employees: Outcome-based working can benefit PAYE employees by allowing them to focus on delivering results rather than just putting in time at the office. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, as employees are able to see the impact of their work more clearly. It can also lead to increased flexibility, as employees may be able to work from home or adjust their schedules to better fit their personal lives.
  2. Contingent staff: Outcome-based working can benefit contingent staff by allowing them to work on a project-by-project basis, which can provide greater flexibility and variety in their work. It can also provide them with a clearer understanding of what is expected of them and how their work will be evaluated, which can lead to increased job satisfaction.
  3. Contractors: Outcome-based working can benefit contractors by providing them with clear expectations and deliverables for their work. This can help them to better manage their time and resources, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. It can also provide them with a better understanding of the value they are providing to the organization, which can lead to increased job satisfaction.

It’s all about the balance, outcome-based working can benefit all employees, regardless of their employment status. By focusing on results rather than just time spent at the office, employees are able to see the impact of their work more clearly, leading to increased job satisfaction and flexibility. Additionally, outcome-based working can provide employees with clear expectations and deliverables, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

So what are the perceived barriers within businesses, stalling the use of outcome-based working alongside a shared workforce solution?

Outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions can bring many benefits to businesses, including increased productivity, cost savings, and flexibility. However, there are also some perceived barriers that can stall their adoption. Here are some of the common ones:

  1. Lack of trust: One of the biggest barriers to implementing outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions is a lack of trust between employers and employees. Employers may be hesitant to give up control and rely on workers to deliver outcomes without close supervision, while employees may worry that their performance will be unfairly evaluated based on outcomes that are outside of their control.
  2. Resistance to change: Some businesses may be resistant to change and reluctant to adopt new ways of working. This can be due to a fear of disrupting existing processes or a lack of understanding of the benefits that outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions can bring.
  3. Limited understanding: Many businesses may not fully understand what outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions entail, or how they can be effectively implemented. This can lead to uncertainty around how to structure work and evaluate performance, which can make it difficult to implement these solutions effectively.
  4. Lack of infrastructure: In some cases, businesses may not have the necessary infrastructure or technology to support outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions. This can make it difficult to effectively manage and communicate with a shared workforce, and can also limit the ability to track and evaluate outcomes.
  5. Legal and regulatory barriers: Depending on the industry and location, there may be legal and regulatory barriers that can make it difficult to implement outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions. For example, regulations around data privacy or employment laws may need to be carefully considered when implementing these solutions.

All of these perceived barriers can make it challenging for businesses to implement outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions. However, with careful planning and implementation, these barriers can be overcome, and the benefits of these solutions can be realized.

Can businesses overcome the barriers to outcome-based working within a shared workforce environment?

Overcoming the barriers to outcome-based working within a shared workforce environment requires a combination of strategies that address the specific challenges that businesses face. Here are some strategies that businesses can use to overcome these barriers:

  1. Build trust: To build trust between employers and employees, it’s important to communicate clearly and frequently about expectations and performance metrics. Employers should be transparent about how outcomes will be measured, and employees should be given clear feedback and recognition for their achievements. Employers can also consider offering training and development opportunities to help employees improve their skills and increase their confidence in their ability to deliver outcomes.
  2. Educate stakeholders: To overcome resistance to change and limited understanding, businesses should educate stakeholders about the benefits of outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions. This can include providing case studies and success stories from other businesses that have implemented these solutions, as well as outlining the specific benefits that are relevant to their own organization.
  3. Invest in infrastructure: To support outcome-based working and shared workforce solutions, businesses need to invest in the necessary infrastructure and technology. This may include implementing project management tools, communication platforms, and data analytics software to track outcomes and measure performance. By investing in these tools, businesses can improve communication, collaboration, and accountability within a shared workforce environment.
  4. Navigate legal and regulatory barriers: To navigate legal and regulatory barriers, businesses should consult with legal and compliance experts to ensure that they are operating within the bounds of relevant laws and regulations. This may include reviewing employment contracts and agreements, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations, and following best practices for managing a shared workforce.
  5. Adopt a flexible approach: To successfully implement outcome-based working within a shared workforce environment, businesses should adopt a flexible approach that allows for experimentation and adaptation. This may involve testing different approaches to measuring outcomes, adjusting performance metrics based on feedback, and refining processes over time. By adopting a flexible approach, businesses can adapt to changing circumstances and improve outcomes over time.

Overcoming the barriers to outcome-based working within a shared workforce environment requires a proactive and strategic approach that addresses the specific challenges that businesses face. By building trust, educating stakeholders, investing in infrastructure, navigating legal and regulatory barriers, and adopting a flexible approach, businesses can successfully implement these solutions and realize their benefits.

Is there any reasonable reason that UK businesses should not adopt outcome-based working in their business?

There may be some situations where adopting outcome-based working may not be appropriate or feasible for a UK business. Here are a few examples:

  1. Jobs with highly repetitive tasks: In some jobs, the tasks are highly repetitive and do not allow for much variation in outcomes. In such cases, it may be more appropriate to focus on process-based working rather than outcome-based working.
  2. Legal or regulatory requirements: There may be legal or regulatory requirements that dictate how work must be done or how outcomes must be achieved. In such cases, outcome-based working may not be feasible without risking legal or regulatory compliance.
  3. Lack of clear metrics: Outcome-based working requires clear metrics and goals for measuring performance. If there are no clear metrics or goals available, it may be difficult to implement outcome-based working.
  4. Resistance to change: Some employees or managers may be resistant to change and may not be willing to embrace the shift towards outcome-based working. This can make it difficult to implement successfully.

For many businesses in the UK, adopting outcome-based working can provide significant benefits, including increased productivity, improved employee engagement and satisfaction, and better alignment with customer needs. Therefore, businesses should consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of outcome-based working and assess whether it is appropriate for their specific situation before deciding whether or not to adopt it.

Is outcome-based working a way to safeguard jobs in industries that are becoming ever more automated?

Outcome-based working can be a way to safeguard jobs in industries that are becoming more automated. By focusing on outcomes rather than just the time spent on a task, employees can add value by using their creativity, problem-solving skills, and human judgement. This can be particularly important in industries that are becoming more automated, as it allows businesses to leverage the unique skills and capabilities of their workforce in ways that machines cannot.

In addition, outcome-based working can help to foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, which is critical for businesses that are looking to adapt to changing market conditions and evolving customer needs. By encouraging employees to think outside the box and take risks, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge.

However, it is important to note that outcome-based working is not a silver bullet and may not be appropriate or feasible for all industries or roles. In some cases, automation may be necessary to remain competitive, and businesses may need to shift their workforce strategy accordingly. Nonetheless, outcome-based working can be a valuable tool for businesses that are looking to leverage the unique skills and capabilities of their workforce in ways that are complementary to, rather than in competition with, automation.

Why should we start with our People teams?

How can HR teams benefit from working in an Outcome orientated environment?

HR (Human Resources) can benefit greatly from working in an outcome-oriented environment. Here are some of the key ways in which HR can benefit:

  1. Improved employee engagement: Outcome-based working can help to improve employee engagement by giving employees more autonomy and control over their work. When employees are empowered to deliver outcomes, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and purpose in their work, which can lead to increased motivation and satisfaction.
  2. More objective performance evaluation: Outcome-based working allows HR to evaluate employee performance based on tangible outcomes, rather than subjective measures such as time spent on tasks or subjective opinions. This can lead to more objective performance evaluations and more accurate assessments of employee performance.
  3. Enhanced skills development: Outcome-based working can help to enhance skills development by encouraging employees to take ownership of their learning and development. When employees are given the autonomy to deliver outcomes, they are more likely to seek out opportunities for learning and development that can help them improve their skills and deliver better outcomes.
  4. Increased agility and flexibility: Outcome-based working can help HR to respond more quickly to changing business needs and market conditions. When employees are empowered to deliver outcomes, they can adapt to changing circumstances and adjust their work to meet evolving business needs.
  5. Improved alignment with business objectives: Outcome-based working can help to ensure that HR is aligned with the broader business objectives. By focusing on outcomes, HR can ensure that its work is directly contributing to the achievement of business goals, which can help to increase its value and influence within the organization.

Working in an outcome-oriented environment can help HR to improve employee engagement, enhance skills development, increase agility and flexibility, and improve alignment with business objectives. By embracing outcome-based working, HR can become a more strategic and impactful function within the organization.

And finally…

If we created an outcome-based shared workforce, that operated on a flexible resource architecture model (no ‘what ifs BTW, we already do this for our clients), what would the benefits to both the businesses and their employees be?

Creating an outcome-based shared workforce that operates on a flexible resource architecture model can provide several benefits to businesses and their employees, including:

Benefits for businesses:

  1. Improved cost efficiency: An outcome-based shared workforce can be structured to focus on delivering specific outcomes or results, allowing businesses to pay only for the work that is completed. This can result in improved cost efficiency and reduced labor costs.
  2. Access to a broader range of talent: An outcome-based shared workforce can attract a broader range of talent, including specialized workers who may be difficult to find through traditional recruitment channels.
  3. Enhanced flexibility and scalability: The flexible resource architecture model can enable businesses to quickly scale their workforce up or down as needed, enabling them to respond to changing market conditions and shifting priorities.
  4. Increased agility: By adopting an outcome-based shared workforce, businesses can focus on results rather than hours worked, providing them with greater agility and adaptability.
  5. Improved collaboration and knowledge-sharing: An outcome-based shared workforce can foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing across businesses, resulting in new ideas and innovation.

Benefits for employees:

  1. Increased job satisfaction: An outcome-based shared workforce can provide employees with a greater sense of autonomy and control over their work, leading to increased job satisfaction.
  2. Flexibility: The flexible resource architecture model can provide employees with greater flexibility, enabling them to work from home or other locations, and choose the hours that best suit their needs.
  3. Opportunities to work on diverse projects: An outcome-based shared workforce can provide employees with opportunities to work on a variety of projects for different businesses, increasing their exposure to new industries and ideas.
  4. Improved work-life balance: The flexibility of the model can also enable employees to better manage their work-life balance, allowing them to meet their personal and family commitments.
  5. Potential for increased earnings: The outcome-based model can reward employees for delivering results, providing them with the potential to earn more than they would in a traditional work arrangement.

In summary, creating an outcome-based shared workforce that operates on a flexible resource architecture model can provide businesses with improved cost efficiency, access to a broader range of talent, enhanced flexibility and scalability, increased agility, and improved collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Employees can benefit from increased job satisfaction, flexibility, opportunities to work on diverse projects, improved work-life balance, and potential for increased earnings.

And don’t get me started on the benefits to your DEI and Social Mobility strategies… I will save that for another post!

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