Posted March 27, 2014 by

Part-time employees can be your prizewinning lot: Just bring the best out of them!

Bimal Parmar

Bimal Parmar, VP of Marketing at Celayix Workforce Management Solutions

“Employers are even more reluctant than usual to commit to full-time employees. They like the flexibility.”Harry Holzer

Donning the worker’s hat in your neighborhood store owner to big corporations, the ‘part-time employees’ have supported the service industry for a long time. While many of them have had a tough ride until now, with Obamacare on the horizon a transformation in the way young America works looks possible.

As for the employers, here are a few surefire measures that’ll help you get the best out of your part-time staffer.

1)    Cheer up their performance with ‘Perks’

The American clothing retailer Land’s End offers vision, dental and life insurance benefits to its part time employees. At Costco, part timers are entitled to medical and dental coverage, if they work 20 hours per week, after finishing 180 days of employment.

Take it this way, if a full time employee is fully-liable, a part time employee is effectively half-liable. That’s because they work for half the time and for lesser wages. The relationship with the company too is half formed. How much they feel a part of the company remains questionable (at least in the initial years). This is not an issue of loyalty but of divided loyalties as most of them spend half their time working elsewhere, studying, taking care of their kids, etc.

By making the perks equal, you can bridge this gap. Get them over to your side.

It’ll motivate them to make optimal use of their time and effort.

2)   Don’t treat them differently

It’s true, they don’t stay in your office like full time employees but don’t let them feel any different. Make sure they stay in the loop with all the developments at work; receive all across-the-board rulings and communication.

Problem creeps in the moment a Manager/Team Leader starts looking at them through a part-timer prism. The treatment should be fair for all.

Rope them in your company’s social events, let them interact and mingle with other staffers. Don’t resist in providing them equal training.

If you’re dealing with shifts, to schedule your employees properly, you may use a workforce scheduling software to iron out the process. Shift rules should also stay the same for all.

Give them promotions at work and opportunities to advance in life. Offer them rewards and recognitions. Everything should be targeted towards boosting their self-confidence.

3)    Abide by the Employment Law

Don’t give your part-timers a reason to reach out to the rule book.  In the year 2008, 1 out of 6 people in their 20s to 40s, in America were part-timers. The U.S Department of Labor does not differentiate between part-time and full-time employment. The arrangement entirely rests between the employer and the employee. Technically speaking, part time refers to a work week, that’s well below 40 hours, something around 3 days a week.

According to U.S Department of  Law, FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) has a minimum legal wage in every state. In 2011, Washington had an hourly wage of $8.67, while in Georgia it was $5.15.

The FLSA secures the rights of part & full-timers equally to take medical leaves, get compensated for sickness or injuries.

See that you leave no stone unturned in following the rules.

4)    Find the best fit between them & your Goals

Maximizing their potential depends equally on the employer. Have clearly defined roles, aims and objectives for part-timers. It is ideal if their nature of work is quantifiable, so it can be measured whether they’re augmenting your productivity or not.

Industries like retail, hospitality where workflow is consistent, are considered the best fit. In a 9 to 5 corporate environment, project based work can be offered to part-timers where they have a time line to meet.

On Oct 2nd AOl Jobs came out with an article, listing 10 organizations that are interested in hiring part-time workers, it had the likes of Army National Guards, United Health Group, the Macy’s etc.

There are organizations interested in hiring boomers too. They can be useful for works that involve skill and experience.

It is therefore extremely important to gauge how you can use your people optimally.

Final Thoughts

The dark days of the 2008 recession changed the scenario almost manically, altering some high paying  jobs into low paying  jobs, shrinking the benefits to nil and turning full timers into part time workers. The effect was so brutal that by June 2013, 4 years after it officially finished, only 6.6 million jobs had remained compared to the 8.7 million jobs lost (in 2008).

So, if you’re an employer, the time is right to give employees back the importance they deserve.

It’s not just the smartest way, it’s the right way!

About the Author

As VP of Marketing, Bimal Parmar manages the global marketing strategy and execution at Celayix. With over 20 years industry experience, Bimal is responsible for making sure the world learns about the benefits of Celayix’s solutions that include: advanced employee scheduling, time and attendance, employee communication as well as integration modules for payroll and billing.

Before joining Celayix, Bimal was Vice President of Marketing at Faronics, a leading provider of IT solutions for the Education vertical where he helped grow revenue over 50% and launched exciting new solutions. Prior to that Bimal held senior marketing and product roles at technology companies such as Business Objects and McAfee Security where he gained significant international experience working with global companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Sony, HP, Orange, Telefonica and Ricoh.

You can visit his LinkedIn profile

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