This post on how to treat freelancers well is our final “hack” of the series.
If you’d like to learn more about getting the most out of remote freelancers , be sure to explore our other hacks from past weeks:
Hack #1: Consistent Motivation
Hack #2: Game Planning
Hack #3: Frequent Planned Meetings
Hack #4: Proper Onboarding
Hack #5: Set Goals and Assign Responsibility
Hack #6: Implement and Maintain Communication Processes
Hack #7: Give and Receive Constant Feedback
Our last hack is certainly not the least important. According to a study by the Social Market Foundation, happy people tend to outperform others by at least 20%. So it’s in your interest to keep them happy by taking good care of them.
But what about the hired you don’t see every day?
You may be a stellar boss to in-office hires, but how do you reward remote freelancers? Giving them thanks and acknowledgement is important too. It increases retention, and overall contentment and work satisfaction. Here’s a few best practices to get you started.
Treat freelancers well with bonuses
Consider giving freelancers a monthly or annual bonus as a thanks for all the good work they’ve done. This doesn’t have to be huge sum, especially if you don’t pay much for the salary in the first place. But it’s a great way to show them that you recognize their consistently good work and what they offer your company. It’s one of the simplest, most straightforward ways to treat freelancers well.
Treat freelancers well with time off
Just because freelancers don’t work in an office, doesn’t mean they don’t want a vacation. Remote freelancers need a break too! If you have hired full-time remote freelancers, offering them paid time off is a great way to stand out from other companies. It’s also a useful recruiting incentive, so communicate the amount you offer early on in the process. If you don’t hire full-time freelancers, you might not be in a hurry to compensate them while they’re away, but do make it clear that you’ll be supportive of their (reasonable) vacation schedule and do your best to work around it.
Reward remote freelancers with raises
Sometimes career advancement is a murky world to navigate if you’re not in-office. It’s easy for remote freelancers to feel stagnant. A raise can be a nice boost to both their morale and their wallet. For full-time freelancers, try offering raises semi-annually, or annually, even if it’s only a moderate amount.
Treat freelancers well with frequent thank yous
This is one of the absolute easiest ways to get great work out of freelancers. People love positive reinforcement. They thrive on it. When freelancers turn in a project, say thank you and let them know you liked it. For everyday occasions, a simple, two-second email works wonders. This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the day-to-day rush. Always take the extra time to show appreciation.
Make incentives clear
Sure, surprises are nice. But if you want to get the most out of freelancers, make their incentives clear. Let them know as soon as you hire them what they can expect in terms of bonuses, raises, and time off. This doesn’t mean you should draw direct attention to the things you don’t offer, but you should let them know where they stand.
Ask them what they expect
Again, this is a good conversation to get out of the way as soon as you hire. Try to make it so that there’s no difference between what freelancers expect from you and what you’ll actually offer. This can reduce resentment down the line. The ensuing conversation might take a little negotiation, but you’ll rest easier knowing you’re on the same page.
While the standard rewards work wonders, it’s also fun to get a little creative with treating freelancers well. Considering mailing a handwritten note as thanks for particularly outstanding work. Send them a gift card to a local restaurant on their birthday. Creativity shows thoughtfulness, so it goes a long way.
Do you have remote freelancers? How do you show your appreciation for them?
Emily Bell has worked in digital marketing for seven years, tackling projects for a wide variety of tech and PR companies, as well as a few of Amazon’s top third-party sellers. Her work has appeared in Entrepreneur, Influencive, Addicted2Success, Forbes, and around the web.