Sometimes your most valuable employees are not the ones that put in 40 plus hours a week, but those that put in 20 hours a week. Part time staff can be awesome and if you target part timers you can often find a wealth of people with great skills and experience who want to focus a bit more on the life half of work-life balance.

But, employers often worry that a part time person won't be as invested as a full time person. And what about temporary employees that may just be working on a project and then leaving? What things can you do to motivate and engage employees that aren't with you all the time and might just be staying a few months?

Sirmara Campbell Twohill, Chief Human Resources Officer at LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing and recruiting firm gave me 5 tips for engaging and managing part time and temporary staff:

1. Create an onboarding program- While it doesn't need to be as long, or in-depth as a full-time employee's onboarding process, consider creating an informal version for part-time help for immediate engagement. For instance, a lunch with their team on their first day, having their workstation set up, running through the corporate culture, etc. They will be more inclined to hit the ground running on day one of the job if they feel a part of the company's bigger picture.

2. Showcase career progression. If a manager wants full-time engagement, they should treat part-time staff as full-time employees. Have them meet with different people within the company who have been promoted to showcase that career progression is possible. Better yet, have them meet with someone who turned a temporary role into a permanent one. They can lend tips on what it took to achieve that transition.

3. Encourage feedback. Give them an opportunity to voice their concerns, feedback, or opinions for change. Show you care, and they will do the same in return. Plus, you never know where the company's next great idea will come from.

4. Providing them perks, too. Whether it's surprising them with extra tickets to a sports game, or including them on the company holiday gift list, including part-time staff will make them feel like a member of the team. It can also be as little as praising them as you walk by their desk...everyone appreciates public appraisal.

5. Invest in them. Set goals and schedule one-on-one meetings just as a manager would with full-time staff. To get maximum engagement, managers should hold them accountable to meeting deadlines and remind them that their contributions effect the company's overall success. Every project and assignment counts, and they are accountable to everyone at the company, as well as themselves.

A little bit of focus on your part time and temporary staff can go a long way towards having a happy, productive staff.

Published on: Jan 8, 2015
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