Hiring at a part-time level is purposeful in our ministry setting. It’s a part of our strategy to manage our resources until other factors drive us to full-time positions. We refer to it as “incrementalism.”
There are typically gains with small, incremental steps in both cost and efficiency. This is true of most ventures, but employee hours especially.
We’ve found if you have the right part-time people, and they’re managed well, they can produce far more results than their hours suggest.
Here are four key things a supervisor should ensure his or her part-time employee is doing so their hours can be maximized:
- Last-minute boss tasks and other tyranny of the urgent matters;
- Post-meeting tasks—and give time to address them;
- Deadlines. Schedule out the time slots to hit deadlines. Annual budget submittals, Disciple Now, and VBS shouldn’t surprise you;
- And avoid black holes. Give yourself a time limit for activities that tend to eat up time, such as Facebook, trips to the break room, engaging certain people in conversation (we all know people who can’t end a conversation).
Ask yourself: is this the most effective use of my time? I’ve had to realize that although others may not say or do things like me, their work is still adequate.
I have to delegate and pass things along so I can focus on mission-critical initiatives. This is true for part-time employees as well. Which five-minute tasks could they give away?
You don’t always need position power to delegate. Be creative in determining who could willingly accept a task (there are capable and called volunteers).
Typically small in length, these can be fulfilling if used properly:
- Mean-time tasks (phone calls, making copies) in between meetings or over lunch;
- Group-like tasks;
- E-mail templates (i.e. volunteer schedules, regular scheduling of meetings and agendas) See Michael Hyatt’s post to learn more about these;
- And use computer shortcuts (find tutorials or ask a “geek”).
- Develop weekly Must-Do, Should-Do and Nice-To-Do task sheets;
- Know what you have planned each day, before beginning the day;
- And block out time every week for projects. Don’t try to squeeze in preparation for a presentation in between fielding e-mails from church members.
Whether the part-time role is a minister or support position, you can manage their limited hours to produce more than part-time results.
P.S. If you want your part-time role to go full-time, make your supervisor notice you. Let them see the amount of work you’re producing. They can’t ignore quality and results for too long.