It’s official, the holidays are upon us.  That means an in influx of part-time, seasonal workers who will be tasked with helping retailers wrangle the crowds of impatient shoppers. These temporary employees are not that different than any other part-time worker.  They are usually quickly onboarded, lack significant training, and more often than not, do not have the strong commitment or loyalty that their full-time counterparts possess. This time of year always reminds me of the importance of making part-time workers feel a sense of belonging and appreciation in the workplace.  Let’s face it, happy employees make happy customers.

A recent Wall Street Journal article stated that 49% of HR managers believed employee recognition led to increased profits.  For our favorite retailers who need the holiday rush to hit revenue goals, recognizing the good works of part-timers is a business imperative.  For the rest of us, it just makes good business sense.  Your customers don’t care whether an employee is part time of full time. They care about the level of service they receive.  So, don’t make the mistake of neglecting to intentionally recognize and reward your part-time employees – the price is too high. In fact, employers with a highly engaged workforce produce shareholder returns that are 9.3% higher than the S&P 500. This means that your part-time workers can serve as jet fuel towards making your year-end numbers. Here are some recommendations for including your part-timers in your recognition efforts:

Give employees who consistently perform first dibs on a popular shift.

When you realize an employee is a high-potential candidate, let them know you appreciate their performance and want to talk about a more permanent position.

Publicly thank employees for their efforts and give them something they want- a gift card to a coffee shop, movie tickets, etc.

Take time to mentor and develop your part-time workers.  An investment on your part can lead to more loyalty and commitment on their part.