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News & Insights

News & Insights

Treating the Crowd as You Would Any Employee

Scalable bandwidth and burstable work pools are both terms used to describe crowdsourcing. Both of these terms, however, imply that workers are anonymous ID numbers performing tasks remotely and this can be dehumanizing to them.

Because of this aspect of crowdsourcing, manager interaction with crowd workers is critical and improves processes and results. When workers inquire about their accuracy or write with thanks for the high-quality work that keeps them engaged a polite and timely answer keeps the workers motivated. More importantly, though, crowd workers often raise questions that highlight possibilities for improvement in instructions, technology, or even process, which can have a significant positive effect on project outcomes. A good rule of thumb is that each message that comes in from a crowd worker should get as quick a response as an email from an in-house employee, and in the same professional, courteous tone. After all, crowd workers are the human beings that make the enormous possibilities of crowdsourcing a reality.

Besides responding to inbound communications, a good crowdsourcing manager should proactively communicate with crowd workers. Taking a minute to ask a highly qualified worker if he or she has any thoughts on the new HIT template or a project in general not only establishes good will, it can help identify solutions to unanticipated or unknown problems. Sending a note to a worker who performs at a high level just to let them know you appreciate their work only takes a moment, but can have a positive impact on that worker, their sense of self-worth, and, importantly, on their performance.

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