Rewarding Outsourced Staff – Without Just Throwing Money At Them
Many modern businesses find it essential to hire outsourced (freelance) staff. Perhaps they have too much capacity and cannot cope with the current workload, or maybe they require a specialised set of skills to complete a job that is not currently available within their own workforce. Whatever the reason, this type of sub-contracted employment can provide a viable solution to a business’s immediate and ongoing problems.
UPDATED: September 2022
When managing outsourced staff, it is important to ensure they feel valued and are rewarded sufficiently for their work. They are providing you with a service, and although they may not be directly employed by your business, they are still contributing to your progress. It doesn’t matter whether you are outsourcing SEO link building, or social media marketing assistance.
Many organisations will simply throw money at their outsourced staff and feel that the payment should be reward enough – and whilst financial benefit is indeed an important consideration, there are a number of other ways that you can reward your staff and ensure a strong working relationship. Outsourced staff will usually perform to a higher level on a consistent basis if you follow this advice.
1. Maintain a consistent level of communication
Communication is key! There is nothing more frustrating for an outsourced employee than waiting for a response or being left in the dark. If they ask a question about the work, reply quickly and clearly. If they want their work reviewing, be thorough and provide feedback. Efficient and prompt communication will make your employee feel valued and will also ensure the required work is completed to a high standard.
2. Give clear instructions and specific guidelines as to your requirements
Vague guidelines and requirements can leave a sub-contractor feeling frustrated. If you can’t devote the time to writing a simple set of instructions, why should the sub-contractor devote the time to providing a first-class piece of work? Ensure your guidelines are clear, concise, and easy to understand. This will ensure the outsourced member of staff understands exactly what is required and should alleviate any problems once the work is started. For example, if you are commissioning a piece of content to be written. Explain clearly how many words it should be, the tone of the piece, the target demographic and other relevant information.
3. Offer time-based bonuses as an additional incentive
Whilst offering a generous payment is a great reward, offering the chance to improve that payment is even better! If you are under a tight deadline, you could offer your sub-contractor a bonus if they complete the work ahead of schedule, for example. This will spur them on to complete their work quicker. Be careful, however, to specify that the improved lead time must not come at the expense of quality or quantity!
4. Be honest about the prospect of ongoing work
Sub-contractors rely on repeat business and forging a long-lasting relationship with clients. If you can provide a clear schedule relating to any future work, this will give your employee reassurance and help them plan for the long-term. Alternatively, if there is no future work after the current contract, don’t give your employee false hope – be honest and let them know exactly where they stand so they can look for other work if necessary.
5. Share any feedback regarding their work
Feedback is hugely important and is also a fantastic reward to provide. A sub-contractor relies on feedback to gain a positive reputation and to solicit future work. If you simply end a contract, send payment and provide no feedback, the outsourced member of staff is effectively left in the dark. Was their work appropriate? Was the quality up to scratch? Could they have made any improvements? Giving this feedback gives the sub-contractor closure, and also shows them that their time and effort was valued and worthwhile.
Five simple ways that you can reward your outsourced staff and hopefully improve the quality of the work you are paying for!
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