The Gig is UP!

The Gig is UP!  Adopting and Adapting to Change

by John Kennedy

As we all know, the pandemic accelerated our need to embrace technology, e-commerce and innovation. From curbside pickup to on-line ordering, our garden centers jumped from 2020 to 2030 in just one year. It’s like we took a Quantum Leap (great TV show!) into the future, and are now wondering if we stay, or “leap back” to 2021.

That is the great big question for all of us.  Go back to the way it was, embrace the way it is (a great song) or embark on the way it will become?

Great questions that will have to be answered on an individual garden center basis. However, I have a few thoughts to consider as you ponder which direction to take.

A Mastercard Study predicts that the gig economy will have a gross volume of $455 Billion with a B in 2023.  And Robin Reshwan, an executive career strategist, states in a US News report that “The workforce has gone through a significant change over the last two years. People are looking for greater flexibility and more options to earn a living.”

Enter the concept of “Garden Gigs”--an innovative approach to meeting the workforce on their terms as well as yours. (More on this idea in a later article).

Souny and I visited a few Garden Center Group members in Florida this past week. Each of them had their own collection of retired or semi-retired employees who are working only a few days a week, so the idea is not foreign to our industry.

We also went shopping at the local Publix and noticed many “Insta-Cart” folks rushing through the aisles shopping for customers to have their groceries either readied for curbside pickup or delivered to their home.

These are the “uber drivers” of the grocery gig economy. They can turn on and turn off the opportunity to work. Technology drives this movement and the changing landscape of the worker is embracing it more and more every day.

Imagine if our industry could adopt to this growing shift as quickly as we adapted to Covid?

Imagine if there could be a place on your website that would have certain jobs/gigs available for short-term needs (watering, loading/unloading, general maintenance, small-scale construction work, etc) that would invite the gig worker to your employment needs.

Now, I am certain there are some/many HR hurdles, and Jean & Jean can certainly offer prudent advice, but I’m not one to let hurdles impede the momentum of change.

I’m also certain there are holes in the scheduling and consistency of the concept as well. Every idea always has its pros and cons. I’m just tossing out the trend that I am noticing…the shifting workforce post-Covid, the constant challenge of finding new folks, and the statistics that are showing where and what folks are going and doing.

Maybe it’s not just money they are looking for (a signing bonus or better pay). Maybe they want to work a few gigs instead of just one?  Maybe they don’t want a 9-5, but a 10-3?

Maybe it’s the flexibility and fun that they are excited about? Making their own schedule.  Doing what they like to do. Maybe these are on their list of wants and needs?

As many members witnessed at the fall event with Jean and Florence, plants and being outdoors are high on that list!!!

We all hear “It’s tough to find workers” in every industry.

OK. I get it!

But as the gig economy continues to explode, they are working somewhere!!  Uber, Insta-Cart, Upwork, Fiverr, TaskRabbit, just to name a few. Maybe it’s time to continue the lessons of Covid and learn to adapt quickly, adopt new and innovative solutions to the ever-changing workforce, and become leaders of change in our industry…and not followers of events in our industry.

The gig is up!

Time to run towards the shift…not around it or away from it.

As Sid Raisch highlighted in a recent LinkedIn article by Rob R responding to the fate of Sears…be the water… not the rock.


Want to discuss a Team-Building opportunity with John Kennedy? Call or email him!

John Kennedy
[email protected]
Cell: ‭443-605-7095

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as John Kennedy, Robert Hendrickson, Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch and Jean Seawright, are included in your retainer!

John Kennedy is a strategist, author and Service Provider to The Garden Center Group. John and his wife Souny offer innovative tools and digital solutions that accelerate change in the green industry. Their new “YourGroupSpace” intranet platform can be found at   They are also the co-founders of --A search engine and digital magazine that promotes farms, garden centers and wineries of the agritourism industry of North America.

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