With about 18% of today’s labor force working part-time, managers need to be flexible when it comes to adapting to shifting dynamics of their staff. Part-time work has increased in an effort to save on the cost of full-time benefits and overtime charges, and many employees choose to work fewer hours due to their personal schedule or lifestyle. No matter the reason, managers and business owners need to know how to include these individuals into their work environment as efficiently as possible. Here are some helpful ways to achieve a successful integration:
Provide Appropriate Job Roles
Rather than assign your part-time employees to a list of meaningless tasks, give them a set role with a clear and defined purpose. Employees with a distinct position will have a much better sense of direction and function in the company. Being handed a “to-do” list without much continuity is confusing and to an extent, insulting. Having a limited presence in the office requires even more structure from management, including clear goals and expectations for the job position.
Assign Part-Time Workers to Projects
Rather than assigning part-time workers to departments or teams, consider assigning them to individual projects. Projects tend to be more task-oriented and straightforward so the work can be picked up and set down as needed without the collaboration of an entire team. If you have an assignment that needs to get done but is often pushed to the side, hiring part-time work may be a great solution as it doesn’t require the budget for full-time salary and benefits.
Avoid Treating Part-Time Staff as Less Important
Although some of your staff may not be in the office as often as others, they should all be considered important to the overall objective of the company. Business owners should take the time to make all members of the organization feel included. Something that would show your support of part-time employees could include designating their own place to work in the office, whether it’s a cubicle or a desk, having your own workspace is important.
Schedule Consistent Meetings
Because part-time workers won’t be around on a daily basis, there will be a much larger gap created in the line of communication. Even sending group emails or memos won’t always be enough to keep all staff up-to-date on current information. To avoid breakdowns in communication it’s best to have reoccurring meetings with your entire department so questions and concerns can be addressed on the spot.
Stay Informed on Current Employment Law
Every U.S. state will have its own set of laws applicable to part-time and full-time employees. The U.S. Department of Labor's website is the best resource for providing the relevant compliance laws in your state. Be sure to stay up-to-date on all laws regarding your part-time employees, because there will be differences that restrict them from certain things such as benefit eligibility and break time allowance. Although there are some variances between full-time and part-time employees, be aware that staying consistent during the interview process for both is a must. Asking personal information about reasons for needing to be part-time is dangerous territory.
What’s important above all of these tips is to remember to support the growth and development of all your employees. Don’t overlook the needs of your part-time workers because they deserve to be invested in just as much as your full-time workers.