Three Ways to Motivate Part-Timers & Temps

This post is courtesy of a manager’s perspective. As more and more departments hire part-timers and temps, there are a few ways to muster up the troops to keep them motivated.

Anne Fisher dishes some pointers in her “Ask Annie” Fortune column.

1. Hire smart. Michael Burchell, a vice president at the San-Francisco-based Great Places to Work Institute, says in the piece to be sure from the beginning that you know what qualities you’re seeking. “Focus more on culture than on specific skills.” Hiring managers often say they can teach a bright worker anything but they can’t teach them soft skills, in particular enthusiasm and teaming.

2. Enlist your regular staffers to help train part-timers. Pointing out Zappos as an exemplary example, Burchell notes a full-time employee sits with each temp to teach them the job. They even go over details about every customer call in terms of what went well and what didn’t.

He adds, “You can also ask your regular staff to mentor their part-time peers and be your eyes and ears on the sales floor — especially in ‘catching people doing something right’ and praising them for it.”

3. Say “thank you.” A lot. Have you ever noticed how you go the extra mile when your manager recognizes your work? The management skill works wonders. Jennifer Robin, co-author of No Excuses: How You Can Turn Any Workplace Into a Great One, explains,Appreciation and thanks are always important, but especially at this time of year.”

Plus, let’s take a minute to think about it. Those two simple words are just that — simple. So easy to say, right? Generationally as well, younger workers “expect a lot of reinforcement and they really miss it if it isn’t there.”