Top tips on managing part-time staff
As more people seek a better work-life balance, Kelly Games explains how to get the best from part-time members of the team.
In recent years, there has been a definite increase in jobs with non-traditional work arrangements.
The rising popularity of part-time work is usually the employee’s preference to find a work-life balance. This isn’t always necessarily down to starting a family.
Managing part-time workers requires a different perspective. Building a strong and trusting relationship is a start to getting the most out of your team members.
To ensure you create a high-performing team, regardless of their weekly hours, there are some differences in the way you should manage part-time staff to address things such as business continuity, engagement, communication and development.
Don’t assume a part-time employee isn’t as enthusiastic about their job as their fellow full-time colleague.
Also don’t assume that your part-time employee is on automatic pilot. That they’re doing what they’re asked and only following up when absolutely necessary; fewer hours doesn’t mean less passion!
Treat every member of your team the same. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting less commitment.
Encourage initiative and ownership and be sure to recognise and reward it. Just as you would with a full-time employee.
Talk and listen
Just because your part-time employees aren’t in the office as regularly as other team members, your interaction with them shouldn’t be any less.
Stay in touch and ask questions (work related or not); you need to know what’s going well, what isn’t and whether or not they need your help.
Be sure to listen to their thoughts, concerns and successes.
One of the biggest drawbacks to part-time employees is that those individuals are often less informed than their full-time counterparts.
Whether this is a change within the organisation or a work incident, sometimes it’s hard to deliver the message to everyone. Especially if you have team members working alternative days.
To help your team feel connected and an integral part of the operations of your company, it is important to include them in regular meetings. Update all of your team members with a weekly/monthly internal newsletter.
Make sure you offer everyone the same opportunity to speak to you regarding any of the topics that you’ve raised.
Opportunities and training
If your part-time team member is eligible or a good fit for a promotion within your company, offer it to them or suggest that they apply.
Just because they work fewer hours or days compared to those full-time team members, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in growing within the company or in their career progression.
They may have concerns about the flexibility of their new role, which will almost certainly come with extra responsibilities.
However, this is where you can be prepared ahead of time by doing a bit of research into how you can make it work.
Training is a pivotal part of an employee’s development. So it is also important managers do not ‘short change’ part-time employees in this area.
Whether they work five or eight hours of the day, make sure all of your employees have access to an equal amount of training. And that they are able to attain full competency and fair opportunities for advancement within the workplace.
Unfortunately, the stigma about part-time employees still exists. Business owners often don’t utilise the full potential of their talented and productive part-time team members.
The take home message is clear: don’t treat your part-time workers any differently to your full-time team members by limiting them.
Actively find out where their talents lie and promote this within your company; you’ll soon see their abilities shine.
Managing part-time employees requires you to make some adaptations. But this will definitely pay off for you and your company in the long run.
If you invest in your part-time team members as you do with their full-time counterparts, they will reward you with loyalty and quality work.
CODE Total HR can help
The HR team at CODE can help with the guidance and documentation you need to ensure that you can approach part-time working as a positive aspect of employee loyalty, satisfaction and creating a stable workforce.
We will assign you your own HR adviser to mentor you through any difficult situations that may occur. As well as to help you with the processes involved in adapting your procedures, communication and contract changes.
Visit codeuk.com/HR-demo to book a demo of our HR software and to discuss with one of our team more fully your specific HR requirements.