More and more companies are beginning to understand the benefits of building a great culture for employees. After all, your employees spend a majority of their time at work, surely they should feel happy, comfortable and ambitious while they’re there.
Zappos founder Tony Hsieh is so passionate about his company’s culture that the company fires employees that don’t fit into it, regardless of how well they’re doing at their job.
But what about part-time employees? Working irregular shifts or alongside full-time workers can make it difficult for part-time workers to feel like an important part of your company and culture.
There are many reasons why it’s important for part-time workers to fit into your culture. In this article, we will explore some of these reasons and take a look at what you can do to make sure your part-time employees fit in…
Fitting in increases happiness and therefore productivity
At Contactzilla, we believe that happiness leads to productivity, not the other way around. There is a vast amount of research showing that happier workers are more productive. One recent study by the University of Warwick in the UK found that happier workers were, on average, 12% more productive than unhappy workers.
One way to help your employees feel happy at work is to make sure they fit into your culture and understand their value at your company.
Part-time workers shouldn’t be made to feel like second-class employees. Just like any employee, part-time workers need to understand the role they play and the value their work brings to the company.
Employees who are unsure of the part they play in the company, or feel that they don’t connect with the rest of the team, are likely to feel deflated and lack enthusiasm for the job.
However, happiness isn’t the only reason why it’s important for part-time workers to fit into your culture…
Part-time workers need to reflect the values and morals of your company
Whatever industry you work in, your company has a mission, values and morals that need to be reflected to your customers and clients. It’s important that everybody in your company understands your values, including part-time workers.
Being passionate about the company’s values means your team are better able to communicate those values to your customers and can make them more dedicated to that mission. For example, if you run a restaurant that aims to bring a fun experience to the whole family, your employees need to be able to communicate this goal to diners with a cheerful and outgoing attitude, instead of a more formal approach they might take at a restaurant offering high priced fine dining.
If your part-time employees understand and care about your values, they are also more likely to feel connected to the company. Don’t forget, your part-time employees spend less time connecting with the company than full-time workers and may need to be reminded of your company’s values and how they can help to portray them to customers.
Part-time workers need to feel like part of the team to collaborate effectively
The more part-time workers feel like they fit into your company’s culture, the more likely they are to feel like a real part of the team, building stronger relationships with colleagues that will help them collaborate at work. Your whole team needs to be able to work together and collaborate and if your part-timers don’t feel like they fit in, it’s unlikely that they’ll connect with their colleagues in a productive way.
Creating a culture of support and progression for part-time workers
Research that has found that part-time workers are much less likely to receive any chance for career progression than full-time workers. While many employers might not think it’s worth investing in part-time workers, there are benefits to staff retention and progression in terms of staff turnover and training costs.
If you are not offering your part-time employees the chance to progress in your company, you aren’t giving them any reason to show initiative. If your part-time employees do not see other possibilities for themselves in your company in the future, they will soon realise that they might as well just do the bare minimum they need to get by.
By supporting your part-time workers in the same way that you would full-time workers, you can help them fit into your culture and remain productive and engaged with their work.
Keep communication open with part-time workers
If you want your part-time workers to really fit into your culture and feel like a real part of the team, communication is key.
There are several ways you can keep communication open with part-time workers…
Encourage social communication between team members
One way to really help part-time workers to fit into your culture is to encourage them to build friendships with other team members. Your part-time workers will feel much more a part of the team if they can connect and collaborate with their co-workers.
Make sure you don’t forget to invite your part-timers along on social events you hold for your team. Do you all usually go to the pub on a Friday after work? Invite part-timers along too, even if they’re not in work that day or at the time you usually leave.
At Contactzilla, we have a team shared address book so everyone has access to contact details for everyone else. We find that by keeping our team connected, it’s easier for them to form bonds outside of work that strengthen their relationships inside work.
Schedule regular catch-up meetings
If possible, try to get everyone on your team together for regular catch-up meetings where you discuss the company’s progress and give everybody a chance to make suggestions and give feedback.
Being transparent about your business with part-timers has the added bonus of helping them understand how they fit into your business plan, giving a sense of achievement and worth in the company.
Be respectful of the part-time schedule
Don’t forget that, however keen your part-timers may be to progress in your company, they are part-time workers and you need to have respect for their schedules. While it can’t always be avoided, it wouldn’t be fair to make a habit of calling part-time workers outside of their working hours.
How do you make sure part-time employees fit into your company’s culture? Share your experiences in the comments below.
About the Author
Mark Panay is the Marketing Director and Co-Founder of Contactzilla, a seamless contact management system for businesses and organizations. In addition to his love for emerging technology, Mark is also a trustee of Deki, a very cool microfinance charity that helps entrepreneurs in developing countries generate sustainable incomes. Say hi on Twitter or Google+.Why Is It Important That Part Time Workers Fit Into Your Culture Guest Blogger