Managing Part-Time Staff

Strategies for Your Flexible Workforce

Make sure part-time staff feel part of the team.

© iStockphoto/deanm1974

Managing a team that includes part-time workers can be challenging.

For instance, how do you assign people who work part-time to a team or project when they're in the office only a few days a week? What if a client or team member needs answers that only a part-timer has, and it's that person's day off? And how do you help part-time staff feel that they're part of the team?

These are a few common challenges that managers can face when they have people on their team who work part-time. In this article, we'll offer some ideas and strategies for managing part-time staff.

Assigning Tasks and Projects

Assigning part-timers to team projects can be tricky. On one hand, this is a great way to use their skills, particularly if those skills are specialized or unique. On the other hand, their involvement can slow the team's progress because they're not available as much, and their absence may also cause them to miss key discussions and planning sessions.

Many managers find it best to assign specific projects and tasks to their part-time staff, and then leave larger, team-oriented projects to people who work full-time.

However, bear in mind that part-timers may have a lot to offer within a project – both in terms of professional skills and the team roles that they fulfill. (Our articles Belbin's Team Roles   and Benne and Sheats' Group Roles   will help you better understand and define roles for individual team members.)

When you decide which tasks to assign, follow these guidelines:

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