3 Ways to Drive Continuous L&D for Gig Workers

The common assumption about learning is that at a certain point, it stops. We believe that new consultants get onboarded, learn the processes and products with which they must be familiar, and then the training wheels come off. Bam, they’re ready to go. However, the truth – including for gig economy training – is more complex.

As author Lindsey Pollak puts it, successful professionals are “committed to always studying their craft.” Learning is a continuous process for traditional employees as much as it is for freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors, AKA gig workers. This will no doubt prove to be a key workforce training question in the future.  

The problem is that at a certain point, gig workers get tired of learning. They want to use their skills to make money. They want to be in “go mode.” Yet L&D leaders realize that the educational process doesn’t end there. There are always new skills to be learned and certified, new goals to be set and achieved. That’s how you create opportunities for entrepreneurial growth.

So the question is this: how do you re-engage gig workers in ongoing e-learning? We explore below.

Learning and Development Insights: Driving L&D Over Time

1. Make Learning Fun  

This might fall under the rubric of “easier said than done.” But it’s important to underline: no one will voluntarily learn if it’s not enjoyable for them. In their research, Deloitte describes the necessity of embedding “fun and happiness” in four segments of the organization: 

  • The individual
  • The leader
  • The team
  • The organization

This doesn’t mean that individuals always have to be having fun – work is work. But there’s a competitive edge in making work more enjoyable, defined by traits such as:

  • Improved workforce engagement 
  • Heightened retention
  • More collaboration

Smart Gamification for Learning

Of course, for gig economy training, what matters is L&D. Individuals are more likely to engage in non-mandatory learning activities when there is a dimension of fun to them. Gamification is a term for game-like elements used, often via digital technology, to help stimulate customer or workforce engagement.

Gartner ties the rise of gamification to the auto industry. For instance, years ago, clean energy tech companies began offering rewards for drivers each time they recharged their electric cars. In any case, Gartner specifies that each gamification program has to include challenges, obstacles, rewards, and rules. Games have to be difficult but also goal-based. 

L&D leaders can seek out smart gamification tools that will allow them to set up a rule- and reward-based game-like system for learning. After setting up that gamification system, along with its rules, they should then be able to use their tech platform to automate its operation. Such technology should be able to send smart notifications to users, prompting them to finish learning tasks in exchange for some kind of recognition. The platform should be able to sense when users are ready for a new task or activity and then offer some form of reward – badges, incentive programs – to motivate them to complete it, so that they’re constantly learning and evolving.    

2. Make Learning Mobile

We’ve probably all had this experience: having to complete an onboarding, training, or learning module that can only be accessed on a computer. As we’ve covered before, there are some salient differences between web solutions and mobile apps. According to the most recent data from 2021, users spent 7.5% of their time online on web browsers and 92.5% on mobile apps.

It stands to reason that if you’re assigning ongoing learning content, it ought to be available to complete on a mobile device. So when you’re on the lookout for a performance enablement platform (PEP) for your workforce, strongly consider partnering with a platform that gives you access to a branded mobile app. 

That’s going to allow you to have an “Uber-like” app for your company, but then you can use that app to go beyond Uber itself. You can assign continuous learning content, never abandoning the gig workforce throughout their work journey. And then they can access that content on the fly, on the go – wherever they are – which increases the probability that they will complete it and further their gig economy training. 

For instance, Jessica is waiting for her car to make its way through the car wash when she gets a notification on her phone. The notification asks her to watch a video on how to nurture deals. She’s far more likely to tap on and open it than if she gets an email while on her laptop, considering the statistic above. To recap, people generally want to spend as little time as possible on their web browsers – meanwhile, they’re spending more time on their phones. 

The lesson for L&D professionals is clear: you want to enable users to complete learning materials on their mobile devices. It’s even better if your PEP lets you create a branded, white-labeled app for your company. This will increase your brand visibility and sharpen your company identity and reach.   

3. Create Engaging Content

This one seems obvious, but how do you create content that engages gig workers – some of whom can, at times, be overworked? This is a key concern in gig economy training.

Our suggestion is that you tie the content to goals. If you can automatically assign learning content that’s relevant for an individual gig worker’s personalized goals, she’ll be more likely to interact with it. For instance, Rallyware’s PEP lets you create e-learning modules and then automate their delivery based on a user’s goals and her progress toward those goals. 

So a user who wants to make a large portion of their income as an independent contractor might get learning content on how to drive sales and find more customers. A user who wants to work more casually might get materials on time management or customer interaction. It really depends on what the user’s goals are. 

That is, if the technology is working on that level. Some technology isn’t capable of high-level automation and machine learning like that. You’re going to want to partner with technology that works at a very high level to send the most relevant learning content to each specific individual at the right time. This is going to make sure they’re more engaged. 

Rallyware’s end-to-end performance enablement platform drives attention to your custom, company-specific learning materials. With smart gamification, a branded mobile app, and deep personalization, this platform is perfect for companies with distributed or remote workforces. Click here to see a demo, and read some of our case studies with leading companies.