Differences in outgoing part-time employee attitudes

This is the second in a series of research articles exploring some of our latest research into exit interview results. This article summarises a quick study that was conducted into the differences between exit interview responses of part-time employees versus full-timers. The research was conducted by analysing three years’ worth of exit interview results across the large variety of organisations that utilise HC exit interview services.

Caroline’s main finding was that, on average, part-time employees tend to be more positive about their workplaces than full-time employees. Exploring this further, she found that the specific areas in which Part-timers were more positive than Full-timers were:

  • The overall quality of their working life.
  • Their fellow team-members’ commitment to safety.
  • Their company’s commitment to the environment.n• The induction that they received.

However, Part-timers were significantly less positive about the level of supervision received by their direct manager.

These research findings can be easily applied in practice. The main thing that distinguishes part-timers at work is that they have reached a formal agreement with the company about a particular working pattern and/or a reduced number of working hours. At their core, flexible working arrangements are a form of additional commitment that companies tailor to the unique needs of their employees. Such an additional commitment is likely to result in a sense of reciprocity and more positive views about the company in general. This is probably the simplest explanation for these results. If correct, it is also a compelling reason for managers to consider increased adoption of flexible working arrangements; in particular part-time arrangements.

In applying these findings, a word of caution should be noted. Our research does reveal that part-time employees are clearly less satisfied than full-timers with the level of supervision they experience. Although this is an intuitive observation, companies considering rolling out part-time arrangements more aggressively must be mindful of ensuring that their managers are able to effectively supervise people under these arrangements. The emphasis in such situations must be on ensuring that part-timers feel like part of the team, even though they may not be at the office every day.

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