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Top 10 ways to motivate part-time employees


A recent US survey found that 95 percent of employers polled have part-time employees in their workforce. Among these companies, the ratio of part-timers to full-timers ranges from less than 1 percent to as much as 90 percent, and nearly half said their ratio of part-timers to full-timers has risen in the last five years. More than 50 percent expected it to increase further in the next five years.

Part-time jobs attract a full range of workers — students, retirees, working parents, or those wanting to earn extra cash who may not see the position as a career.

With the number of part-time employees expected to grow, a critical question becomes: How do you get the most out of this diverse group of employees who work a limited number of hours each week?

* Appreciate part-time employees for the job they do. Recognize part-time employees if you want them to continue to do a good job.

* Treat part-time employees the way you want them to act. If you want part-time employees to have a long-term perspective, treat them with a long-term perspective. Talk about where they want to be in five years, for example, or what skills they are interested in learning.

* Provide new challenges. Mix up the workload. Offer part-timers new challenges by moving them around the store and exposing them to new tasks. Give them a choice of assignments whenever possible.

* Assign a mentor. Assign a full-time employee to mentor each part-timer.

* Encourage part-timers to take initiative. Recognize those who do take initiatives to provide better service or products to customers.

* Provide the right training and resources. Employees need the right induction and training to do their jobs well and be most effective. Ask them what would help - and deliver on it.

* Show part-timers that their jobs matter. Motivate them by showing them how their jobs relate to the company's overall goals.

* Communicate. Communication is the lifeline of any company. Constantly talk with part-time employees to see if they have questions or concerns.

* Make them feel a part of the team. Everyone — especially part-timers — needs and wants to feel a part of the team. Invite them to attend department meetings or off-hours social events.

* Make it fun. Make the work environment an enjoyable place to be. The more fun your workplace is, the more likely that employees will do their best — and stay with your firm longer.

SOURCE: Bob Nelson, President of Nelson Motivation, Inc., located in San Diego, CA and author of the new book 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work.


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