How To Keep Contract Employees Motivated

In this new economy where many new start up businesses are trying to save money as they bootstrap their way to success, many of these companies are turning to freelancers and contractors to do the required work without having to take on the burden of all the extra expenditures of hiring full time employees. However, one of the main challenges that comes in hiring these contractors is the challenge of keeping them motivated.

Traditional methods of employee motivation, such as benefits and involvement (engagement) are difficult to apply to one who will be a team member for only a few weeks or months. Even so, the contractor must be effectively encouraged in order to ensure that time and money are not wasted. If you find yourself in this predicament, here are some business management tips you can use:

Contractor Control

“For both permanent and contract employees, the first element of control is to define the expectations of the job” says John Rogan of Motivational Speaker. “If this is not done it becomes impossible to measure the benefits of the expense.”

The second element is to ensure that the selected contractor is capable of performing the tasks to the satisfaction of the organization. The requirements of the job need to be communicated to the contractor in a clear and concise manner.

All that remains is to measure the performance. This should be done with structured one-to-one meetings with the contractor. Such meetings do not always need to be face-to-face, but must always cover achievement to date and job specification changes for on-going work.

The Engaged Employee

Research done by Motivation Ping shows that active engagement of employees returns the benefits of making them:

  1. More profitable
  2. More customer focused
  3. Safer
  4. More likely to withstand temptations to leave

The Empowered Employee

Empowered employees will have:

  1. Information
  2. Resources
  3. Measures/goals
  4. Boundaries
  5. Counter-measures
  6. Rewards (not always monetary)

Working from that basis, it becomes plain that the aims and strategies of the organization need to be communicated to the individual in an effective manner. All employees need to fit into the plan and, perhaps more importantly, need to know where they fit.

The Defined Role

Once the individual is placed within the plan, resources need to be made available. A very effective method is to document all processes. This will identify each employee role and the tools available for successful completion of the work involved.

Expectations and goals may now be set, that is tell the employee what is required and how to achieve it.

If the processes have been documented, boundaries and limits will already be defined as will counter measures.

The contractor will fit into the team and the team will be fully equipped to tackle the job at hand, each member knowing what to do, how to do it and who or what to turn to in the event of unexpected occurrence.

Performance Measurement

The effectiveness of any management process must be measured in some way and the key question is always one of return on investment. With contractors the long term analysis may not become apparent until long after the individual has left the organization, so the assessment may need to be a little more subjective than with the permanent employee. Here, the regular one-to-one becomes an invaluable tool in order that the manager gains the best possible insight on contractor performance.