Tips for Managing Part-time Employees
Recipes have multiple parts to them: add this, sprinkle that, put in two eggs, a cup of milk and a quart of who knows what. While some ingredients make up a majority of the dinner or dessert, it can often be a teaspoon of vanilla or pinch of salt that will make all the difference.
Clubs and the employees that work in them are similar. While full-time employees are at the club constantly, part-time employees may only come in a few times a week. However, like a recipe, their addition to the club is as essential as any full-time employee.
With this in mind, Pura Vida in Denver, Colorado, works hard to ensure that part-time employees meet the same standards as full-time ones and feel just as welcome. “We set the stage appropriately and are clear in communicating what our expectations are,” said Sarah Fox, the group fitness, young talent and programming manager at Pura Vida.
Fox said it is immensely important that part-time employees understand the club’s brand and culture, and are integrated into it immediately through the use of various benefits, discounts, events and programs. Pura Vida has implemented a program called Pura Vida Passport. Every employee — no matter their status — has to go around to each part of the club and get a stamp in their passport. Once it’s filled up, they receive a gift.
“It’s still so very important to get them involved in the culture, and it’s not easy, frankly, when someone’s only at one place for one hour a week,” explained Keith Moore, the general manager at Pura Vida. “So, whatever we can do to strengthen the relationship they have with Pura Vida or with the brand itself, the better we are.”
When it comes down to hiring part-time employees, Fox said the difference between what they look for versus full-timers is non-existent. “I would hope that if the part-time employees were seeking the full-time position, I would absolutely want to hire them for that position,” said Fox.
Moore said clubs are often open from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m., and full-time employees won’t be able to fill all that time. “That’s a tremendous amount of hours to fill,” he said. “You’re not going to be able to do that with full-time employees; you’re always going to need part-time employees.”
This only emphasizes the fact that it’s vital to have part-time employees involved with the club and the brand, and that they feel as though they are fulfilling the reason that they were hired.
“Sometimes, I have that part-time instructor who pops their head in to ask me a question,” said Fox. “It’s extremely important for that employee — that I may only see once or twice a week — that I stop what I am doing. That I allow myself to be interrupted in order to have a conversation with them, in order to remind them that I appreciate that they’re here, thank them for what they’re doing, ask them about their class, [or] whatever it may be. I think that goes a really long way.”
By Heather Hartmann