Fostering workplace culture among part-time and shift workers


Australia’s workforce is changing. Part-time work has seen a steady rise over the past few decades and now represents a third of Australia’s total employment. Too often, organisations only take into account their full-time employees in their workplace culture strategy. This can lead to part-time and shift workers feeling undervalued and ultimately increase staff turnover. So, if nine-to-five is no longer necessarily the norm, how can we facilitate a great working culture for everyone, including part-time and shift workers?

Here are my top tips on how to make your business a great place to be for all employees:

It’s never too early to think about culture

Think about culture from the get-go – even in the recruitment phase. Give candidates the opportunity to showcase their personality by creating a friendly atmosphere. You want to know the individual can get the job done, but once that’s confirmed, it’s important to find out more about the person. This enables you to facilitate stronger working relationships right from the beginning.

Onboarding is another crucial time to set the tone for how you treat your employees. Go above and beyond to make new team members feel welcome. Prepare a thorough onboarding prior to their arrival to show you are committed to setting them up for success. This should include everything from tech inductions to an office tour. Getting the whole team involved in welcoming them can be another great way to foster an inclusive, cooperative environment for all.

Keep your team in the loop

Part-time and shift-workers may miss out on some updates because they’re not on-site during all opening hours. It’s vital to find a way to make sure your whole team is across what’s going on because communication really is integral to the success of the business. This can be as simple as distributing a weekly internal newsletter sharing announcements and celebrating wins. This will help to foster a culture of collaboration and transparency, leading to a more engaged and valued workforce.

Encourage work/life balance

Remember your team has a  life outside work! Enable flexibility where you can to show you trust them. Ultimately, as long as the work gets done, and is to the standard required, why should it matter where this takes place? Research has shown that through flexible working, your employees will feel more motivated and your team will become more productive.

Wage compliance

Finally, it’s integral to remember that you cannot have a great workplace culture if you are not paying your staff correctly. Money is important, particularly among part-time and shift-workers, where a monthly salary is less common. Compliance can be tricky to navigate, especially if you’re a small business, so it’s worth investing in great technology which can manage this for you. Also, continually look for ways to train up your team to make sure they are given the opportunity to learn, grow, develop skills and boost their income.

For your employees to feel fulfilled in their role and excited to come to work, building a positive culture is essential. And as we continue to move away from the standard 40-hour week, businesses should keep this front of mind for their part-time and shift workers.

Chloe Sesta Jacobs, Head of People & Culture (APAC), Deputy