Including Part-Time Employees in Your Training Initiatives
Employees are your greatest asset. As an organizational leader, it is important to create training and developmental opportunities for all of your employees. While many companies I have worked with have training programs in place, there is one segment of staff that often gets overlooked - the part-time employee.
I worked with a company that was utilizing a lot of part-time employees. These employees were predominately college students whose work availability was limited. As a result, they did not receive the same level of training as their full-time counterparts. The company’s rationale was the employees were “only part-timers” and were scheduled nights and weekends when other staff wanted off.
The problem with this approach is the company is now servicing their customers with underdeveloped employees, without the product knowledge, customer service, and problem-solving skills possessed by full-time employees. Part-time employees mean individuals are working part time hours; not providing part-time performance for the hours they do work. Your customers deserve to be serviced by an employee fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to meet their needs. Disgruntled customers leave, regardless of whether their experience was with a full or part-time employee.
The employees benefit from training as well. It is difficult to truly feel part of the team when you are not afforded the same opportunities as the rest of the team. Some employees accept a part-time position to get their foot in the door at a company. Without proper training, these employees will be at a disadvantage for promotional opportunities.
Here are a few ways to make training available to part-time employees:
- Promote training opportunities for all employees; encourage managers to be flexible and allow employees to attend.
- Schedule training on different days. At my previous credit union, we would schedule the same class multiple times, on a different day each time. This would increase the opportunity.
- Ask employees if they can change their schedule to attend training. Just because an employee is always scheduled off on a particular day does not mean they are unavailable to work.
- Take advantage of the summer months when college students are out of school.
- Embrace recorded webinars and other eLearning opportunities which allow employees to participate on their schedule.