Stir the conversation
Stir the conversation
Wednesday, April 12 | 2017

Eight Ways Companies Can Tap Into The Power Of Part-Time Staff

There are a wide variety of talented workers out there, and not all of them are looking for 9-to-5 work. Some may enjoy taking on a variety of challenges rather than locking into a particular company or task. Others may need limited hours, so they can handle family commitments.

However, limited time does not mean limited skill: Today’s workforce has access to unique and eclectic sets of abilities, which are often boosted by the experiences of seeing how different leaders handle procedures or manage tasks. They may have seen a company’s particular problem before and know what worked — and what didn’t — the last time another firm tried to tackle it.

So how can leaders take better advantage of the part-time and contingent workforce? Members of Forbes Coaches Council have this to say:

All photos courtesy of the individual member. From top left to right: Dr. Stacy Feiner, Michael S. Seaver, Erica McCurdy, Gia Ganesh, Lizabeth Czepiel, Barbara Safani, Gayle Draper, LaKisha Greenwade.

All photos courtesy of the individual member.
From top left to right: Dr. Stacy Feiner, Michael S. Seaver, Erica McCurdy, Gia Ganesh, Lizabeth Czepiel, Barbara Safani, Gayle Draper, LaKisha Greenwade.

1. Be Adept At Managing And Fostering Teamwork

In the past, a contingent or part-time workforce was about limiting headcount and reducing costs. Today, a contingent workforce is all about gaining agility. It’s a sophisticated strategy for managing talent to match production demands. It’s not about warm bodies anymore. Leaders must be adept at managing a dynamic team, leading top talent, tapping strengths and fostering teamwork … quickly. – Dr. Stacy Feiner, BDO USA

2. Have A Tremendous Onboarding Process

To open lines of communication, develop a robust onboarding process with clear work requirements, ensure all IT needs are set up before Day 1, and select a “buddy” to help the person acclimate to the culture. Invite the person to lunch with the team, provide a meaningful tour of the organization’s campus and offer a “scavenger hunt” to connect with important employees, who can offer insider tips for success. – Michael S. Seaver, Seaver Consulting, LLC

3. Assign Them Tasks Strategically

Be strategic: Use alternative workers to meet specific deadlines and fill talent gaps within the organization. Don’t expect them to fully assimilate into the corporate culture. They can’t and they won’t. Instead, use them where they can be most effective to inject new energy into a stale project, to complete tasks that require unique skills and to improve efficiency across functional areas. – Erica McCurdy,McCurdy Life Coach, LLC

4. Communicate Regularly

Skilled and talented workers, especially women, are available in the part-time workforce. By truly understanding their skills, their part-time constraints, and their needs in terms of career growth and flexibility, leaders can leverage a whole army of well-skilled and knowledgeable workers. The key is to communicate regularly to assess mutual needs, as well as appreciating them for their work. – Gia Ganesh, Gia Ganesh Coaching

5. Make Them Feel Included

The workforce landscape is evolving and welcoming more flexible, part-time, independent workers. Leaders can leverage these employees by fully integrating them into the culture and tapping into their knowledge from the variety of work and organizations they’ve experienced. Regardless of employment status, people want to feel included. Welcome these workers and they will deliver. – Lizabeth Czepiel, Lizabeth Czepiel, LLC

6. Tap Into Global Talent

Explore talent globally to cultivate a team of knowledgeable workers who are motivated by flexibility and the ability to work virtually. You will save money, build efficiency and take advantage of the talented, but under-served, part-time and contingent workforce. – Barbara Safani, Career Solvers

7. Give Them Consistent Schedule And Hours

Be the employer of choice for part-timers. Give them consistent hours and schedule, so they commit time, energy and skills to your business and your customers first. If your roles are part-time, what else is that employee doing with their time, and how else are they supplementing their income when what they really need is a full-time salary? Appreciate them and work with them in order to keep them. – Gayle Draper, Intentional Careers and Human Resources

8. Communicate What Benefits They Will Get

Expectations from the workforce are drastically changing, and employees are, more often than not, asking “What’s in it for me?”A steady paycheck does not hold the same weight as it did 20 years ago. Leaders should be able to articulate “what’s in it for them” by identifying the skill sets that will be strengthened and leveraged, so that the workforce has motivation to give 110%. – LaKisha Greenwade, Lucki-Fit

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