10 Ways to Keep Your Contractors Happy Without Paying More
Unfortunately, some business owners put little to no effort into keeping their contractors happy, resulting in a decrease in job performance, or the need to continually find new team members. It can also trickle back down and have adverse effects on your business or even put it in jeopardy.
But are there ways to keep your contractors happy without paying them more so they continue to produce quality work. The best part is, you don't necessarily have to shell out a lot of money to pay them more either. Here are 10 ways you can keep your contractors happy without paying them more.
Sometimes in order to fulfill a way to keep your contractors happy you will need to provide additional training for them. If you try to get your freelance contractor to do the work without the extra training in order to save money, it may take them longer to complete the project and end up costing you more.
What's worse, you could lose your contractor altogether and maybe even have to re-do work that was already done. Don't put off training and education.
The cost is usually well worth it and can keep your freelance contractors happy as it provides them with more marketable skills so they can grow their businesses too.
Having contractors for your business necessitates that you make yourself available to them for questions about assigned tasks. Furthermore, some of the training they desire may need to be provided by you rather than an outside source. One of your roles as a business owner is to make sure you can give them the guidance they need to finish the job.
Give them your email address, phone number or both, so you can be contacted easily. This will prevent them from being frustrated by a lack of communication.
3. Match contractors to the job
Freelancer contractors make up about 35 percent of the workforce. Due to the sheer number of contractor workers, it makes sense that some of them have different skills than others. How does that come into play to make sure your contractors are happy? There are some tasks you may need to give to a specific contractor due to their skill set instead of assigning them randomly to whoever is available.
If you need more than one specialized contractor for a particular job, try to match the tasks within the project to each contractor as much as possible. Nothing is more frustrating for a freelancer than being asked to do something they don't have the expertise or knowledge to complete.
4. Make deadlines clear
Something that can make or break not only client projects but also your business is being unclear about deadlines. Don't be vague. Be crystal clear on what is expected and when it is due to be finished. Some projects allow no room for error or late work. If your contractor isn't getting work done timely, you may lose business.
Everyone wins when deadlines are clear to all parties involved. This is also crucial when working with a programmer.
5. Set clear expectations
If there are other expectations you have with your hired freelancers, make the preferences known. For example, if you have a team of freelance writers, provide them with a style guide to let them know about the things you like to see in their writing. It could even be as specific as using a certain format, size, and font.
Make certain your contractors know about these types of preferences before they are supposed to start the project to avoid wasted time and effort on both of your parts.
6. Resolve problems quickly
All businesses run up against problems now and then, so it is inevitable that yours will too. However, you must be prepared to handle whatever comes your way quickly and efficiently. Are schedules an issue? Is the workload the problem? Or, maybe your hired contractor is having issues with the clients if they work with them directly. Any of these problems can be worked on cooperatively with your contractor in an effort to solve the issues to retain happy customers which provides satisfaction to both of you.
Of course, it is equally important to keep your client happy and satisfied as well so your business can continue to run like clockwork. Helping your freelancer and working with them as a team can ensure the most success when problems arise.
7. Make bookkeeping simple
Creating an easy way to keep track of time spent on projects as well as invoices and payments is important. The less time you have to spend on these tasks the better, especially as your business grows and you add more contractors into the mix. These tasks are usually unpaid, so keeping them simple means less wasted time.
To keep track of time spent on projects, a simple spreadsheet can be set up. Each task is easy to track by title and time spent. As far as invoices, there are multiple ways you can set that up online to take the stress out of bookkeeping and paying invoices.
8. Pay on time
One of the worst things you can do to upset your contractors is to not pay them in a timely manner. Late payments not only make for an unhappy contractor, but they can also give you a bad reputation if you pay late on a regular basis. Obviously it is possible to make an error or miss paying someone on time occasionally due to unforeseen circumstances.
If something should occur to cause you to have to pay late, be up front about the reason and communicate with your contractors. Most will understand, especially if it isn't something that happens frequently.
Most will understand, especially if it isn't something that happens frequently.
9. Take interest in them
Get to know your freelance contractors. What interests and hobbies do they have? Do they have family or pets? Once in a while check in with them just to get to know them a little better. Forming a relationship or friendship with them lets them know you care about them as a person, as well as the work they do for you.
10. Ask for and give feedback
Communication is a two way street. Have occasional meetings with your contractors, even when things are going well. It can be a formal meeting or just a get together over coffee. But it doesn't have to be face to face. A simple phone call, text or email can work just as well. Or, try Skype to keep in touch. What's important is keeping the lines of communication open. Additionally, it's a sure way to keep your contractor happy and working at optimal levels.
If in doubt about how you can keep your contractors happy, simply ask them what they value. Some additional ideas are providing business coaching services to your contractors, or giving them referrals when you know they are seeking new clients for their business. It could even be as simple as providing a testimonial for their website, which is what Megan Harris asks her clients for.
No matter what method you choose, putting forth the time and effort to have a happy contractor is worth it for your business.
(By Kayla Sloan)
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