Team Building Techniques That Include Casual Staff

Many employers, such as restaurants and entertainment facilities rely on part-time staff (students, housewives etc.) to make up the majority of their workforce. It is important as a leader to find ways to help them feel included in the team.

Communication with Part-time Staff

It is vital that part-time staff is brought up to speed if they have missed important information conveyed in a meeting or other impromptu discussion with team members. An employee communication log is a common solution to this problem. Key information is entered into the log and part-time staff must read and initial the information. It is important to keep the information in the log short and sweet (bullet points are best) as the intent is to give them the key messages and not drown them in details that are unnecessary.

The log can be a hard copy binder, a section of an intranet site or a document in a shared folder. If the information is stored in a folder, create sub folders for each week so that part-time staff reviews the information weekly. This system is also very helpful for full-time staff returning from holidays or business travel. The difference between a communication log and emails is that employee must sign or initial that they have read the entry and typically the log contains the condensed version of longer communications.

Include Part-time Staff in Events

In order to engage part-time staff and help them to integrate into the team, it is important that they are included in events such as:

  • Training and information sharing sessions – especially orientation training and training to introduce a new system or process
  • Meetings – especially meetings where decisions are made that will impact their work
  • Selection or hiring committees – especially if the position being filled will be someone they work with regularly
  • Recognition events
  • Social events

Give Part-time Staff the Necessary Tools

Do not make part-time staff feel like second class citizens by giving them substandard desks, office equipment and supplies. If space is a premium, create work stations that allow part-time staff to have personal workspace.

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For example, take a larger cubical and install two smaller desks in it and a four drawer filing cabinet where each person is assigned two drawers. Sharing a cubical with another part-time staff person that will not be there at the same time is reasonable but still allows the part-time staff to have their own personal space that they can customize to their work style.

Give Part-time Staff Opportunities for Advancement

Include part-time staff in succession plans for the team if they would like to move into full-time employment. A part-time employee makes an ideal candidate for future full-time opening and as such should be seen as a valuable resource.

Taking the time to make the part-time employee feel part of the team will improve operations, team morale and employee pride. Maintaining an employee communication log, including part-time employees in events and creating advancement opportunities will ensure that the team culture is strong and united towards strategic goals.