Note: Motivating your employees is something that all employers
try to do, and while motivating your full time employees is often
written on, motivating part time employees is almost unheard of.
everyone obviously works for a paycheck, there are reasons that
full-timers work that do not apply to part timers and vice versa.
Learn motivational techniques for part time employees.
Your employees will be happier and more productive.
Eight Ways to Motivate Part
In most cases, part-time
employees present a special challenge when it comes to
motivation. They do the “grunt” work, have little career
choices, are often focused on other goals outside of your
organization (college, hobbies, etc.), and are treated as
outsiders by full-time employees. So what’s a manager to do? How
do we turn our part-time employees into outstanding employees?
The following are eight proven
techniques to motivate your part-time employees:
1. Orient them properly.
Take time to describe job duties
and go over what is allowed and not allowed, e.g., personal
telephone calls, use of organization property, etc. Avoid
confusion by designating one person to orient and give assignments
to part-timers. This will eliminate the “well he told me one
thing and she said something else” situation that can lead to a
demoralized part-time employee.
2. Find Out What Motivates Them.
Ask your part-timers questions so
that you can find out how to best motivate them. In my
teambuilding and leadership programs, I discuss the “Sykes Seven
Questions of Motivation” that you need to have the answers to if
you are truly motivating your employees. One question you can ask
your part-timer is, “What do you want to do in the future?” By
asking the question, you can relate their future goals to your
present needs. For example, the part-timer says he/she wants to be
an artist. Listen, acknowledge, and embrace the answer and realize
that you can possibly apply their skills now by allowing them to
create recognition posters (I know you are already doing these,
right?), work on the organization newsletter, or any other art
project that will benefit your organization.
If you don’t ask, you won’t
know what the hidden talents of these part-timers are.
3. Check Yourself When
Sometime part-timers are looked
at as an unnecessary evil. It may be great to have the extra
hands, but not so great to deal with them. First, realize you are
fortunate enough to have the extra help. Most people are anxious
to have the extra help. Second, it is your job to develop them.
Third, only communicate the positive when communicating with them.
Remember, for your part-timers,
this may be their first experience in the workplace. They may be a
little scared and may show it in a number of different ways
(rebelling against requests, not working with others, or showing
up late or not at all). Our job is to check ourselves whenever we
communicate with part-timers so that they feel welcome. Check
yourself when communicating requests so that they are always
discussed with positive expectations. Check yourself when
communicating with part-timer and full-timers so that both groups
know you are glad to have them. It will go a long way to letting
the part-timer feel motivated to be there.
4. Assign a mentor
Even after proper orientation,
part-time workers will be confused. Assign them a full-time worker
to be a mentor. The part-time worker will feel more like part of
the team, and the mentor will feel good about the added
Important: Pick someone who is
patient, has good communication skills, is motivated to do the
task, and has the time to answer questions.
5. Mix up the workload.
Don’t overload part-time
workers with “grunt” tasks only. It’s a common temptation to
assign all low-level work to part- time employees. Don’t do it!
It’s demoralizing. Remember, “Variety is the spice of work
life.” This is where you would apply the information learned in
technique number two to mix up the assignments.
6. Eliminate any Hard Feelings
Eliminate any perceived or real
hard feelings between part- timers and full-timers immediately.
Explain to full-time employees why you’re bringing in part-time
help and that their jobs are not being threatened.
Important: Sell them on the
benefits of bringing in part-timers (make jobs easier, allow them
to learn management skills, etc.)
7. Offer Flexible Hours
Many part-time employees are
working part-time to meet special situations (College, family
health situations, childcare issues, transportation issues, etc.).
Use that to your advantage. By allowing flexible work hours,
you’ll retain your part-time workers longer, eliminating the
need for costly retraining.
Important: Make sure part-time
employees communicate and clear all scheduling conflicts in
advance to avoid confusion.
8. Offer Incentives
Most companies don’t offer
part-time employees incentives. Believe me, the part-time employee
knows and resents this policy right away. That’s a big mistake.
Set up an incentive program based on your organization’s revenue
or behavior you need to see from the part-time employee. In the
case of incentives for behavior, give a bonus or incentive for the
on time attendance
well with others
well with full-time employees
initiative to solve problems
Recognize the part-time worker as soon as the action was taken and
praise publicly (my article “Appreciate to Motivate” will
you follow the eight steps mentioned, we guarantee that you will
be well on the way to motivated, productive part- time employees
with less turnover and retraining. You will accomplish far more in
less time without the stress.
Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the
areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer
service, and team building. You can e-mail him at mailto:email@example.com,
or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site, http://www.thesykesgrp.com, and signup for the newsletter,
OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress
Secrets for the Busy Professional."
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