How to Engage Your Part-Timers

Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Business Management [ 0 Comments ]

how to engage part-time employeesA study by the Kenexa Research Institute found that of the companies reviewed those with high engagement generally achieved twice the annual net income of those with low engagement. Likewise, another study suggested that companies with engaged employees have an average operating margin of 27 percent, while those with low engagement tend to have a profit margin of less than 10 percent. There are a number of additional stats that we could throw at you, but the truth is it’s no secret that if you want your workforce to be productive and efficient, you need to make sure they’re properly engaged. But what can you do when the people who work under you are less invested in the company than you would like? Part-time workers may not respond to the same employee engagement tactics as those who put in 40 hours a week and get insurance benefits. So, to help you engage the part-timers, here are a few employee recognition ideas:

1. Include them

The only difference between part-time and full-time employees should be the weekly number of hours worked and perhaps the pay-scale. Other than that, you should work to make sure that the part-timers get to take part in everything that the full-timers do. That includes meetings, company celebrations, training sessions, and recognition events.

Related: Turbocharging Employee Engagement: It’s More Than Just Tenure

2. Pair them up with a responsible mentor

There are multiple benefits to pairing your part-time employees with full-time mentors. For one thing, it will give the part-time employee a chance to really understand how the company works beyond the initial orientation. For another thing, it will allow both the part-time and the full-time employee to feel important and recognized.

3. Open up communication

For employees to feel engaged, they need to know that their opinions and voices matter. Don’t keep part-time employees in the dark simply because they aren’t working for salary; make sure that company memos, emails, and any other important information is able to reach them directly. Perhaps even more important is to develop a culture in which all employees can easily approach you or the other managers with concerns, suggestions, or anything else. When it comes to engagement, there are few things more important than communication.

4. Trust them

If your part-time employees are forced to make copies all day long, or to do some other task that will have little effect on the company’s bottom line, then they’ll recognize that their work is less important and behave accordingly. Instead, give them meaningful and important projects. You may wish to include a full-time mentor in your planning to make sure that everything goes smoothly, but you may be surprised at how well everything works out. If you’re willing to put your trust in your part time employees, then they’ll likely repay that trust with quality work.

Related: Employee Recognition for a Multigenerational Workforce

5. Treat them like full-timers

It’s a proven fact that people will generally fulfill your expectations for them. Thus, if you want your part-timers to take responsibility and develop an invested interest in your company, you need to treat them as though they already do. Include them in company decisions, and discuss with them their plans for the future. Who knows? Maybe they’ll become engaged enough to want to work towards taking a full-time position with your company.

Bio: Jacob Kache works as a consultant for O.C. Tanner, a company dedicated to developing employee recognition and rewards programs that help companies appreciate people who do great work.

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