Motivation for Crowdsourcing

Motivation for Crowdsourcing – The Key to Success

As a rule, being paid is the main motivation for crowdsourcing work. This includes monetary bonuses, benefits or exclusive information. However, the financial benefits are not always the decisive factor for the crowd. It can comprise social components, i.e. the social recognition for meaningful and creative work within the crowd as well as the sense of community in general. Therefore, the greatest incentives of the individuals in the crowd are simply the enjoyment of work and the knowledge that they are contributing to a large project and a common goal.

Motivation for crowdsourcing

What Motivates People?

Motivation for crowdsourcing is quite specific and may vary from regular motivation. Generally speaking, people are motivated when they benefit or gain something from an action or situation. However, in the workplace it isn’t quite this simple. Just as people have different personalities, they will also have different things that motivate them. Many studies have researched just what gets people going when it comes to work and often similar motivations will be presented. Overall workers are usually looking for the same core things when it comes to the workplace. These can be described as follows:

  • Security
  • Achievement
  • Power
  • Association
  • Adventure
  • Security

    Job security is something you’ll often see all kinds of employees talk about. This isn’t just a case of having or securing a long term contract. It also includes things like honesty, trust, cooperation and communication. For example, clickworker communicates with its workers on a regular basis. This is in the form of a dedicated forum, support team, newsletters, social media, in-app push notifications and more. This two-way conversationn brings workers and companies closer and fosters a relationship of trust and security. Workers who do not have this can feel alienated or ignored leading them to feel demotivated and log off.


    A sense of achivement is often cited as a motivator for many workers. Knowing that they are helping to advance or create something keeps them going. Work that has a seemingly pointless reason may put some people off. Giving workers clear knowledge of a project and what their data, information, media and overall input is being used for helps tremendously. When people feel a sense of achievement it means they’re proud of their work. This helps them to continue on with the same kind of work in future.


    Those who feel a sense of power at work aren’t necessarily trying to take over. They may have a desire to lead a team or help others. They like to be recognised for their work and made to feel important. Praising and thanking workers can really go a long way to helping people feel like they have done a great job. For some, if a job has a hint of being able to do vital work or be promoted then this feeling will be satisfied.


    Association or alliliation is important for many workers. A feeling of belonging and community is vital to keep some workers motivated. In other words, the more people feel isolated the less motivated they may feel. This is especially true of freelancers who work from home alone. On the other hand, some workers may be happy to work alone and no longer be part of the “rat race”. However, even for these workers an affiliation with a good company will matter. Having a positive track record, obtaining feedback and reviews and being open is important for any company. When workers are associated with a company with an excellent reputation it will help to maintain the workflow.


    Many people are motivated by a sense of adventure. Doing the exact same work day in and day out can bore them. They like their challenges to change and update often. These kinds of workers enjoy being met with a new project often and desire uncertainty. A company who offers a variety of work will attract this person the most. They will feel motivated when presented with new and interesting work to do.

    How to Motivate Crowdworkers

    Motivating people to work on crowdsourcing projects can sound difficult but when you know the basics of what motivates workers and people in general it gets easier. However, crowdworking isn’t regular work. As such, it’s imortant to make the distinctions as to the motivation for crowdsourcing. When a company or an organization understands the social components and the incentives needed by the crowd and is then in a position to fulfill these needs, this organization is then able to become a sustainably productive crowdsourcing platform.

    When considering the five aspects mentioned above, a company has to think about how these fit in with the motivation for crowdsourcing. Security is something workers seek, especially freelancers so being able to maintain an excellent relationship with your workers is vital. Achievement is something some crowdworkers say is lacking as they often don’t know why they’re doing the work that they do. At clickworker, we’re open and honest about projects whilst maintaining client integrety. When workers know that they’re helping to advance AI, create new products and enchance existing ones it gives a sense of accomplishment.

    More Motivation for Crowdsourcing

    Power is something that can be advanced by thanking crowdworkers, this motivation for crowdsourcing can be done in many ways. It could be thank you emails, bonuses for recognition, raffles, competitions and more. Association is important to many people working on crowdsourcing. If a company isn’t open and honest with a good reputation then simply getting off the ground is going to be hard. Trust must be formed and any issues addressed quickly and in full.

    Finally, adventure, this is something crowdworkers partticularly enjoy. Gone are the days of simple surveys only or data entry typing in the same things over and over. Crowdsourcing can bring with it a variety not seen in other positions. Whilst the overall aim is the same the work can vary wildly. Workers at clickworker can find jobs ranging from asking their opinion on a product to writing content all the way to visiting stores and taking photos. This keeps things interesting and is excellent for motivation.

    What does Crowdsourcing mean? Here you find the explanation.

    Examples of Unpaid Crowdsourcing

    Although being paid a large motivator, it doesn’t always have to be the case. Here are some examples of crowdsourcing done for free:

  • Wikipedia: The largest and most read reference work in history. It is written and maintained by hundreds of thousands of “Wikipedians” who can edit anything on the site. The members of this community cite altruism, expanding their knowledge and skills, and working with friends as reasons to do this free labour.

  • Waze: Many people use Waze in their car to get from point A to point B. However, it’s much more than a simple GPS system. This data collection platform allows the crowd to add information onto the system to warn other users. This could be a broken down vehicle, an accident or debris in the road. This helps others to navigate successfully. Drivers say they like to help others and get around as best as they can.

  • Crowdgrader: This platform allows students to grade one another’s work and test each other’s knowledge. However, this online peer review platform doesn’t remove the need for a teacher. It’s merely a way for students to learn from one another. After they have graded one another a teacher will then assign a final grade. Students state that they like to see how other’s work and teachers say it can enhance their grading as well.

  • Tweak the Tweet: Created by Kate starbird was a campaign asking people to use specific hashtags during disasters and emergencies. Thought up after the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 this method allows for computers to process the tagged information and relay it back in a meaningful manner. The data that can be produced can map natural disasters like hurricanes, explain where survivors are located and more. People state helping others and being helped themselves as motivation here.