How to Motivate Subcontractors to Work More Efficiently

Motivate Subcontractors

Managing and motivating anyone can be a terribly difficult thing to do. It is easy to fail if we are not careful. While some people have developed skills to effectively motivate members of sports team, a team of employees at work, or even their own family, it’s entirely different when it comes to motivating subcontractors. There are so many factors involved, including personalities, work ethic, having an understanding of the expectations and deadlines.

Here are some tips on how to motivate subcontractors:

Be Choosey

As you begin to interview or take bids for contract work, take your time and thoroughly check out all of your options. Be sure you get a good idea of the subcontractor’s personality and work ethic. Knowing that you’ve chosen someone that match’s your desires and expectations will make a huge difference.

Set Clear Goals From the Start

It can be tempting to keep communication vague when working with a subcontractor. After all, you are relying on their expertise and knowledge and you expect them to have an understanding of how to accomplish the task at hand. However, if you want to keep your subcontractors motivated, you must have a clear goal set from the beginning. This not only helps all parties stay on track, but you can also use it to help motivate the contractor to complete the work on time.

Be Available and Communicate Often

We sometimes think of motivation as offering incentives or bonuses. But it would surprise many to learn that subcontractors can be very motivated when they know they can call you (the boss) at any time for clarification or updates. Clearly communicate your schedule and your preferences with your subcontractor so they know what to expect. This will make a significant difference.

Avoid Micromanagement Tactics

Even though subcontractors get motivation by communication with the person who hires them, there is also a line that you should draw to prevent micromanagement. Nothing can deflate a person’s motivation faster than feeling that you are constantly following them. This isn’t to say that you can totally avoid micromanagement at all times, but just be aware of how and when you use it.

Don’t Hesitate to Talk About Pay

Subcontractors are looking to complete their services quickly and efficiently so they can receive payment as soon as possible. Knowing this can be huge in keeping them motivated. Don’t hesitate to talk about the payment plan and if it involves a bonus for completing the work ahead of schedule.

Related: How Not to Get Walked-On as a Contractor 

Want more ideas on how to manage and motivate subcontractors or to find out how to handle their taxes? Be sure to give Hacker Accounting a call at 602-375-5251.


Chris Hacker
Chris has been working in the bookkeeping and accounting field for over 15 years preparing business, income and payroll taxes. Chris has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State and is an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.