The Importance of Rewarding Contractors – Reward and Recognition
How often do you have a great day at work?
It’s not a question you’re probably asked often, but when was the last time you had a day that really put a spring in your step? When you finished work feeling genuinely rewarded and recognised for your professional input? It’s a fantastic feeling and a world away from finishing work feeling down in the mouth, and not remotely motivated for the next day.
The “punch-the-air, I’m appreciated” feeling gets our happy hormones going. Dopamine, one of the most important happy hormones, is almost addictive. It makes us feel good, contributes to our all-around health and wellbeing and creates repeat behaviours (because as humans, we’re seeking that dopamine hit over and over again).
Essentially, it’s as simple as a reward = dopamine, and dopamine = feeling good. Even more simply, you have the power as an umbrella company or contractor manager to create these feel-good feelings.
In times that are more challenging than usual, and when contractors and their skills are in demand, it’s vital to reward your contracting staff. By recognising their input, loyalty, even personal milestones like birthdays or marriages, you add to their feelings of motivation and loyalty. You create the dopamine!
Cash or non-cash rewards?
This sounds great in theory, but where do you start with rewards? What do you give contractors to mark significant milestones or to thank them for their work? Do you opt for cash-based rewards or non-cash items like products or services?
This is an age-old question, almost like considering birthday gifts. Do you give cash and let the lucky recipient choose their own reward or put it towards something bigger? Or do you opt for a non-cash reward that doesn’t have the risk of being frittered away – maybe something that feels like a real treat like electrical goods or an experience day or pamper treatment… something that people don’t often treat themselves to, so it feels like a genuine reward.
Opinions will be divided on this. Of course, cash can be used for a quick fix treat or put towards something major like home renovations, a new car or a big holiday. Whereas non-cash rewards can include anything from homewares and gadgets right up to private healthcare or memorable getaways and days out.
Our advice? Sound out your contractors to find their preference; we’re all different, so give people the option.
How to rewards your contractors
Let’s consider the specifics of how to reward contractors. You can’t just hand out incentives without tracking them and with no clear procedure in place.
You need to make sure that the process of contractors choosing their rewards is straightforward too. A clunky process, with too many options to ‘click here’ or ‘fill this in’ will put people off. Reward your contractors through a streamlined online portal where they can choose the incentive that best suits their taste or need at any given moment (thus answering the cash versus non-cash conundrum!)
Ideally, have your platform online, with reporting in place so you can easily see an audit trail of rewards. From a compliance perspective, this allows you to keep track of which rewards have been given to which individual, crucially keeping a record for P11Ds and tax purposes.
This reporting also allows you to keep track of the most popular rewards and see what’s creating the biggest buzz amongst your contractors. You can then focus on promoting these rewards or broadening the range of what’s available.
Reminder – The Importance of Rewarding Your Contractors
Ultimately, rewarding your contractors goes beyond being the right thing to do and being the creator of happy hormones. Here’s an at-a-glance summary of the importance of rewarding your contractors.
- A more motivated, engaged and productive team of contractors
- Increased ‘stickiness’ and loyalty with contractors wanting to work through you in future
- Improved goodwill through you recognising anything from your contractor’s input and work up to important personal milestones like weddings, anniversaries and the birth of their children
- Increased referrals amongst the contractor network – remember, people talk! If your service and rewards are hitting the mark, you are likely to see more positive reviews as well – think about using Trust Pilot, Feefo or similar online review platforms
- Raise your brand profile – become known as the company that looks after and genuinely values their contractors
- Greater feelings of goodwill and positivity – let’s face it, we all need a bit of this right now!
The bottom line is that you can make every day a great day at work for your contractors.
Get in touch to find out more about contractor rewards and e-wards with Remus