How to Motivate Contingent Workers

How to Motivate Contingent Workers

You might think it’s not important to motivate your contingent workers, given they’re only going to be with the business for a short time. Right? Wrong!

If contingent workers are a component of your workforce mix, it’s in your interest to motivate them, so you can get the most out of them. Right? Right!

Glad we cleared that up!

In today’s workforce, especially with the COVID-induced prevalence for remote working, keeping your contingent workers motivated isn’t difficult. Happy and engaged contingent workers will help you optimise your investment in them – it’s really that simple.

So today, we’ve provided the best solutions that you can quickly and easily adopt, to motivate the contingent workers in your business.

motivate contingent workers

1 Provide a Clear Role Description

The main benefits here are twofold:

  1. The worker will know you’ve prepared for their commencement.
  2. The worker will have a clear pathway to delivering on what’s expected from their contract.

In other words, they’re not left feeling ‘spare’ or uncertain about what they’re in the business to achieve.

onboarding contingent workers

2 Provide a Robust Onboarding Experience

This is a fundamental of how to motivate contingent workers. At the outset, if your business offers a robust induction, the worker will get a feel for the following:

  1. Company culture and vibe
  2. Technical overview and education
  3. Reporting lines and procedures
  4. A clear understanding of their specific project, as realistic expectations are set
  5. A sense of being welcomed into the business, and into their specific team
  6. A deep insight into the company, its services and value proposition
  7. Where they can access support, should they need it

Onboarding sets the scene for a positive experience for both the worker, and your organisation.

communicate with your contingent workers

3 Motivate Contingent Workers through Communication

There are two fundamental communication factors you need to sustain, to motivate the contingent workers in your business:

  1. Insights regarding their specific project. This broadly includes:Project timeframes
    Project deliverables, by whom and when
    Project team
    Project strategy
    Project progress
    Project reporting
  2. Company information: include your contingent workers in company announcements, company celebrations, news and related communications. It will make them feel part of the team.

Make sure you have all the required communications tools in place to keep these workers engaged. Give them a company email address, access to Zoom, and establish a regular schedule of meetings – especially as most will be working from home.

[…] poor management of contingent workers can negate many of their potential benefits.


engage contingent workers

4 Establish a Challenging (and Motivating!) Working Environment

Set high quality standards for the delivery of the project’s work. Encourage contingent workers to beat the regular standards of your business, so they reach peak performance. This will reflect very well both on the project, on your team and on the contingent worker.

Another great strategy here, is to get to know the workers at the start of their contract. Uncover skills you may not have known when you appointed them to your business. And if possible, utilise these skills in their project. It will be a surprising motivational opportunity for everyone involved.

respect contingent workforce

5 R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Sounds like a great song title!

And maybe a little obvious as a means to motivate contingent workers. But really, we’ve seen first-hand the outcome of not being respectful, inclusive, and mindful of the needs of contingent workers.

Respecting these workers is easy. And should be a given. Don’t treat them like an afterthought or an outsider. Treat them with dignity, kindness, professionalism, and inclusivity.

The approach will pay massive dividends.

motivate contingent workers


There’s many additional opportunities for you to motivate contingent workers in your business. If you’d like to have a chat about them, you can reach me here.