Blog Post

Cartoon Coffee Break: How to build a successful gig program at your organization

Cornerstone Editors

Most people want a better job. But "better" means something different to everyone.

As an organization that wants to keep its best people, you need to uncover what each person's "better" looks like. A great way to do that is by instituting in-house gigs.

Gigs are short-term, skill-building opportunities at your organization that anyone can signup for. Any department that needs a hand with a project or just wants to teach a teammate something can create and run a gig. They're great ways to open another learning avenue for your people to build their skills outside their usual department. We have a thriving gig program here at Cornerstone that we creatively call Cornerstone Gigs.

The trick to running a successful gig system, though, is ensuring that your organization, unlike the guy in the comic, isn't using your employees as "free labor." It's not a secret that the biggest downside of the "gig economy" as it is now is that it has a tendency to veer toward exploiting the people working the gigs. We work hard at Cornerstone to ensure our gigs are 100% worthwhile learning opportunities and don't feel like manipulative organizational cost-cutting measures like that monster in the comic. "Cut your own grass, Bernard!"

So here are a pair of ways your organization can build a sustainable, supportive gig system that your people want to be a part of.

Listen to your people

Not everyone will be open to how you envision gigs working at your organization right off the bat. And that's fine. Not everyone learns the same way. But the people with a "gig mindset" will thrive. And when your people thrive, your organization does too.

People with the gig mindset are full-time, salaried employees eager to develop new skills and learn by doing. These employees tend to be self-managed, take spontaneous initiatives and want to focus on skills more than roles.

To enable a gig learning culture at your organization, you have to listen to how your people want to grow so they can feel confident and take ownership of their career path to develop new skills for your organization and themselves.

Make the new skills matter

Organizations need to help their people improve their skills while simultaneously ensuring those skills fill critical gaps. And our Cornerstone Gigs program has proven to be a successful way for us to do that while better engaging our people.

In 2021, we introduced Cornerstone Gigs, and the program has been brilliantly successful. Now, over 250+ people and counting have worked and are working to create better jobs for themself and their coworkers. They're enhancing skills, growing their careers, and bringing different colleagues together for projects.

Each Cornerstone gig is posted by other employees seeking fresh input and hands-on support to enhance or accelerate a particular initiative. Employees apply to the gig through an internal portal and participate following a successful application.

Cornerstar Amy Haggarty, director of partnership strategy and engagement at the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, posted a gig to expand and improve her team's content offerings — specifically to try a new course format. She found the perfect short-term addition to her team. Together, they created a few new learning courses for the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation community.

Try to bring gigs to your organization to enable your employees to flourish and develop new skills to meet the future ready.

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