How Third-party Safety/Hygiene/CX Certification Training in the Gig Economy can be a Win-Win-Win
Alabi Usman| 8.5 min read
Even before the pandemic hit in early 2020, the $82B food delivery industry was on track to more than double by 2025. By August of this year, the food delivery industry had already grown an astronomical 158% year-over-year, well exceeding the aggressive growth trends predicted in 2019.
This growth is not just a boon for food delivery companies. It also represents a larger and likely more permanent shift in the way people buy and consume food. With this transition comes both opportunity as well as growing pains.
The leading companies in the food delivery space—think Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub or Postmates—rely on gig economy labor to meet rapidly growing market demand. The perennial challenge, of course, is meeting newfound demand with highly qualified workers that can work on contract basis. There is a lot on the line, not only for the big players in the space, but also the litany of businesses, large and small, that rely on gig-economy labor to meet the needs of their customers.
Gig-economy workers become the face of your brand and often the only person your customer will interact with face-to-face. So how do you ensure those interactions are up to your brand standards and perhaps more importantly, that everyone involved is healthy and safe?
In traditional circumstances, you’d invest in employees by offering the best possible in-house training. But how do you successfully invest in workers who come and go as needed and who, in the case of contract labor, can’t be legally mandated to complete training?
We recommend third-party certification training in safety, hygiene, and customer experience. It’s the cleanest way, pun intended, for you to strike a balance between managing your brand, ensuring a great customer experience, and investing in upskilling while protecting the autonomy of your gig-economy labor. It’s a rare win-win-win scenario. For realsies, hear us out.
When you offer certified training to gig-economy workers, you win because your company can operate with best-in-class standards. Gig workers win because they carry the certification on their resumés. And customers win because they’re getting great, reliable service.
The gig economy is thriving and is here to stay. It has already gone through several stages of evolution to become what we know today. And as this niche continues to evolve, third-party training certificates will be an undeniable part of its future growth and development. Let’s explore in more detail.
Getting the Best out of the Gig Economy
Employers pay gig workers per contract or job and that’s it—no requirement to pay benefits like a 401k, paid vacation, or the like—which is the benefit for companies. The benefit for gig workers is that since they’re independent contractors, they can ‘freelance’ and work at multiple jobs at a time.
Demand then falls on people to raise their skill levels in order to secure better-paying gigs, according to Techcrunch. What does this mean for them, and for you?
Continuous education and improvement on customer relationships will project your company—through those last-mile workers—as trustworthy. Without setting up high-quality onboarding processes, where the burden of creating and managing training is on you, the best way to accomplish this is through third-party certifications.
Investing in certifications creates a positive feedback cycle: the training benefits your company’s services and image, accelerating business growth (the first win). Your workers will grow and stay with you, bringing in better reviews through better and more consistent service (the second win). What’s more, your clients will be happier and more loyal to your brand (the third win).
The First Win
Grow your reputation. If clients know that your workers are certified by reputable third parties, they’ll come to you. The more your workers are trusted, the more your brand will be trusted.
Third-party certifications can be verified by customers. Knowing that workers are professionally trained boosts confidence and trust.
Although some people suggest that the flexibility and competitiveness of the gig economy means that only those most qualified to do a job should be hired, these days it’s best not to leave things to chance. Customers will only patronize your business if they trust you, and having a third party backing you and your people is crucial.
After all, your workers are the face of your brand. They build trust and integrity with your customers. And those customers will describe your brand as one which provides excellent workers, an increasingly important piece when word-of-mouth recommendations carry the most weight.
The Second Win
A third-party certification in safety, hygiene, and customer service gives your workers the best possible training, such that they’re able to understand the nuances of customer interactions and create meaningful connections while representing your brand.
Also a certification will boost their resumés, setting them up for higher paying jobs that they’ll enjoy. When you explain it to workers this way, they’ll see that the training is not just about boosting the company’s image but theirs as well.
The Third Win
Your customer’s experience throughout interaction with your brand is that one thing that’ll determine if they’ll come back. In essence, it’s what determines if your company will grow.
Despite having more than one option of workers to pick from in the gig economy, customers often associate one contractor with a brand and brand experience. Being able to get reliable services from professionals gives them—and you—peace of mind. They’re assured, through the third-party verification of their worker, that those you recommend have the training required to carry out their project well. Fewer hassles is desirable, for brands and for customers.
Upwork, for example, promotes certification from third parties and allows the contractors and freelancers to display these certifications in order to attract clients. Fiverr offers optional trainings that can boost workers’ profiles and make them rank better in search engines. Just as this brings the workers better clients, it also simplifies the sorting process for clients.
The simple knowledge that a person has training in essential aspects builds trust. This is how the customers benefit and you’d create your third win, perfecting the triple equation.
Best Practices for Gig Worker Certification
Bringing this positive feedback cycle into being will take some effort, but effort that’s well worth it. Any of the following is highly recommended.
Make it a part of your onboarding process
You can, in fact, make it a part of an onboarding process for contract workers to complete training in safety, hygiene, and/or customer service before they’re allowed to start working directly with customers on your behalf.
This, apart from getting you only qualified contractors, also sets the precedent for your company’s culture. You’re clear, right from the start, that you don’t condone mediocrity. Constant growth will be etched in the hearts of the workers who desire to identify with you, and your winning ways will continue.
On the other hand, since training is additional, you can reserve some level of jobs for particular skill sets. If you restrict access to certain jobs for only workers that fulfil the requirements, you’ll be welcoming more workers, but won’t be stuck with them.
It’s a subtle way to increase your workers baseline while still classifying their skill sets. Eventually, your workers will require the training to raise their earnings, making them latch onto the win-win-win situation.
Continuous progress is the business of the decision-maker, of you. When you have perfectly understood how a strategy can benefit your company, as a whole, then there’s only one more decision tree left: when, where, and how to act.
A creative business writer, researcher and published author with over five years of professional experience, Alabi specializes in crafting effective commercial content, article writing, blog writing, social media, copywriting, product descriptions, email copy and producing words for print.
In addition to successfully helping to launch and build small company blogs from the ground up, He has also contributed to a large number of notable online publications.