By Barbara Wold
, Retail & Consumer Tips, 11/6/2007
Around the holidays retailers tend to hire part-time employees. Yet many find it's hard to motivate part-time employees. They often do low-level work, have little chance for advancement, and are treated as outsiders by full-time employees. So how do managers overcome these problems and turn their part-time staff into a potent force? Here are some proven methods.
Copyright 2005. Reprinted with permission from Barbara Wold's Retail & Consumer Tips, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Orient them properly. Take time to describe job duties and go over the basic rules, e.g., are personal calls allowed? Important: Avoid confusion by clearly identifying who is allowed to give the part-time worker assignments.
- Assign a mentor. Even after proper orientation, part-time workers will be confused. Assign 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 responsibility. Important: Pick someone who is patient and has the time to answer the questions.
- Mix up the work load. 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! It's demoralizing. Important: Find out what kind of specialized skills the part-time worker has, and take advantage of them.
- Eliminate any hard feelings between part-timers and full-timers from the start. Make sure full-time employees know why you're bringing in part-time help -- and that their jobs are not being threatened. Important: Sell them on the idea that this is going to make their jobs easier.
- Offer flexible hours. Many part-time workers have special situations that require them to work only part-time. 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 clear all scheduling conflicts in advance, to avoid confusion.
- Offer financial incentives. Most companies don't offer part-time workers bonuses. That's a mistake. Set up a bonus plan based on company revenues. Give them a reason to get excited about their jobs. Important: Offer part-time employees a higher wage than standard. It will prevent competitors from raiding your employees and forcing you to retrain new ones.
About Barbara Wold
Barbara Wold is a street-smart, down-to-earth business speaker, presenting topics from sales and marketing to customer service and tourism. She is an international speaker who has "WOWED" over 400,000 people from all 50 of the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, India and the United Arab Emirates.