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There are a lot of advantages that come from offering part-time work arrangements to employees. In particular, retaining skilled and experienced staff who are looking to manage their work commitments with other commitments, like family or study. However, there are some common mistakes that many businesses make when managing employees who are working part of the time, as opposed to standard full-time hours. This article sets out three common mistakes, including: 

  • allocating disproportionate workloads; 
  • leaving part-time staff out of training and development sessions; and 
  • minimising feedback and check-ins as a consequence of the part-time employee’s reduced hours.

Allocating Disproportionate Workloads

A common mistake when managing part-time employees is to not fully think through the capacity of an employee working part-time hours rather than full-time hours. For instance, if a part-time employee is rostered or scheduled to work four out of every five days, there can be a tendency over time to expect the employee to do as much work as employees working a normal five-day schedule. Unfortunately, this expectation can sometimes be an accident as often as it happens on purpose. Managers may forget that the employee is not meant to be working as many hours as they perhaps previously did. 

The reason this is a serious issue is because it loads a disproportionate amount of work onto the part-time employee in question. Particularly with many jobs offering the possibility of working from home, many employees will feel pressure to meet their workload even if it does not fit with their part-time hours. The consequences may include: 

  • substandard or rushed work; 
  • burnout on the part of the employee; and
  • a poor balance of part-time hours and work. 

This is something to track as a manager and a business. You should ensure that a part-time employee’s workload expectations reflect their reduced hours. 

Leaving Part-Time Staff Out of Training and Development

You should treat part-time employees the same as other employees from the perspective of training and development. You should do this even if it is more challenging or requires more work to make the same development process work. A common mistake is for managers to organise training and development sessions on a particular day for whoever is present in the workplace at that time. This naturally favours full-time employees. Further, it puts part-time employees in a tough position where they miss out on training and development through no fault of their own. 

Try to think about training and development that can work for your part-time employees as well as your full-time employees. This might involve different kinds of training, like bespoke online modules that can more easily fit a team with lots of different part-time working arrangements. You should talk to your employees about:

  • whether they are happy with the training and development they are receiving; and
  • how you might be able to better upskill and support them. 

Minimising Feedback and Check-Ins

Similar to training and development, a common mistake by managers of part-time employees is to neglect important aspects of the manager-employee relationship. These aspects include feedback and check-ins on how they are going at work. This is understandable if an employee is only in the office or workplace a couple of days a week. This is because they may try to complete as much work as possible in the hours they are at work. However, try to find time to give them the same degree of feedback and support that other employees are receiving. 

You may want to think about ways you can help give feedback and support to employees who are not in the workplace as often as others. You do not want your part-time employees feeling like they are not getting as much feedback or as many opportunities to talk to you as other employees, even if they are working fewer hours.

Key Takeaways

There are a few common mistakes to avoid when it comes to managing part-time employees in New Zealand. As an example, it is quite common for managers to forget to scale workloads appropriately for part-time employees. This can leave those employees with large workloads for their comparatively fewer hours worked. This risks lower quality work and burnout on the part of the employee. Another common issue is part-time employees being left out of training and development sessions due to not being in the office or workplace on a particular day. This should be recognised and catered to as necessary. Similarly, it is important to make sure that the employee receives feedback and check-ins like other employees in your business. 

If you would like more information about managing part-time employees in New Zealand, contact LegalVision’s employment lawyers on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should part-time employees receive training and development?

Yes. Part-time employees are permanent fixtures in your team like full-time employees, and it is a good idea to ensure that they are receiving training and development to advance in their roles, even if it is more challenging to organise the training in question. 

How should feedback be provided to part-time employees?

Ideally, managers should provide as much feedback to part-time employees on work as to other employees. How you should do this will depend on the working arrangement of the part-time employee, finding a way that suits both the manager and the employee.

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