Managing a part-time workforce has inherent challenges. The fluctuation of schedules and sometimes disappointing standards of work carried by part-time employees can make the endeavor seems fruitless at times. Contrary to this belief, however, is the glaring fact that both disappointment, and excellence, exist in all walks of employment, and fostering the top-talent of your temporary workforce can pay dividends if your efforts can accommodate the unique circumstances of shining, part-time stars.
Prior to understanding how to motivate top part-time employees, however, it is important to understand the rationale behind doing so. Driving the need to change the way we interact with part-timers is the new reality of the modern workforce. The new paradigm is profound: part-time employment’s nebulous circumstances, coupled with dubious trends in the world economy, have created the need to engage part-time employees with the same or similar fervor to full-time workers.
What’s occurring is a gradual shift away from full-time positions in favor of part-time workers. While this offers the potential for savings for businesses looking to curtail overhead, the reality is not quite as rosy. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 7.9 million workers are employed part-time involuntarily and the inherent lack of loyalty and commitment of this situation means greater potential for turnover costs. And with turnover running at approximately $3,000 to $25,000 per lost employee, the losses add up quickly.
For this reason, it’s essential to encourage top talent as soon as it arises. The same individuals that are likely to excel at your business are the same ones who are likely to find a job somewhere else, contributing to the aforementioned turnover cost. Those putting in the extra work needed to surpass their peers are unlikely to continue to do so if their efforts go overlooked.
Work with management staff and the employees themselves in order to make this recognition a reality. Those working day-to-day with employees will have a better knowledge of who’s standing out, if instructed that identifying top-talent is a priority. Coordinate your efforts from the top-down and grow your workforce from the bottom-up.
While recognition provides motivation in its own rite, occasional kudos are not enough to stimulate consistent success. Talent development programs and continuing education can help breed loyalty and improve customer engagement, fostered by the perception that good work is an appreciated part of the business. Those of exemplary talent are unlikely to rest on their laurels, as the same drive that made them stand out requires nourishment in order to continue.
Ultimately, this on-the-job recognition and opportunity must translate into real-world benefits if your efforts are to be effective. Those desiring only to climb the corporate ladder will be happy with a pat on the back, but the remaining, overwhelming majority of workers, especially those with part-time status, will need tangible value to back up their hard work.
Do not be afraid to reward good work with additional compensation and the opportunity for advancement. While formal recognition can stoke the flames of enthusiasm, a modest raise translates into a realized change in a worker’s life. The brass ring, however, is advancement to full-time status, conveying stability and a perception of belonging to workers. The cost may appear too great a burden to bear at first, but fulfilling the wishes of top-performers will only improve their performance, and your customers will recognize that.
The consistent thread through all of these efforts is the idea of engagement. Part-time workers are more likely to feel under-appreciated, under-paid, and left out of the business than full-time employees, and therefore, acknowledging their contribution to your success is vital. Converse with them, train them, recognize them, and stimulate them, and the potential for revenue will far exceed the cost of incentives as their talent ripples throughout your day-to-day operations.
Part-time workers are an asset, even if the modern economy has lead them to believe that they are not. In this context, tapping your top talent requires both acknowledgement and reward in order to avoid costly turnover and get the most out of your staff. Speak with management and make sure that identifying over-achievers is a priority. Reward their efforts in real ways and stimulate their work ethic with training and the potential for advancement. Doing so may seem like a burdensome initial investment, but the long-term results will improve the attitudes of your workforce, and the revenue of your business.Effective Strategies For Nurturing Your Top Part-Time Talent Chad Halvorson