What is a Job Share?
A job share is not two people working part-time jobs in parallel – that’s part-time working.
Job sharing is two people, through shared responsibilities, identities and accountability, occupying one position. They are a single unit, a team and a complete resourcing solution. With job sharing, employees get the flexibility they crave, and employers have the complete resourcing solution they require to get the job done.
The benefits are clear. Increased productivity is well documented; a built-in sounding board comes as standard, plus of course, easy holiday, sickness and redundancy cover. When a job share runs smoothly, everyone is happy.
Redesigning a role for two or three individuals could be a solution for businesses that need to restructure or downsize. It means instead of making one individual redundant, you could give 2 or 3 individuals part of a job and give them more flexibly and retain them all.
A successfully established job share has virtually no downsides; all parties get what they want. However, to gain the benefits, some work upfront is required to ensure the partnership runs smoothly. Job share requires excellent job design and great people matching.
Our 10 Top Tips for making job share work:
Find the right partner. A face-to-face meeting is a must. We also recommend some psychometric testing to gain greater insights into personality and behaviour.
TRUST is the most critical factor in the job share partnership.
Values of the job share partner should match (try www.findmywhy.com).
Agree on a schedule and diarise – who’s working and when and handover time.
Transparent systems of communication – whatever works for BOTH of you. Maybe one of you prefers email communication, and the other prefers telephone conversations. You need to agree on the best way of communicating. Career Voyage can recommend free tools for both phone and laptop to support.
Clear systems of reporting into the Line Manager. Who is responsible for reporting KPIs and milestones.
An open and honest conversation at the beginning of the assignment is essential. Discuss values, strengths, weaknesses, what you enjoy doing (and what you don’t!).
An honest conversation around your circumstances and why you are job sharing. What you want out of the job share in terms of flexibility and ensuring you get that.
Have a conversation around the role and who can do which parts. Splitting it up between you both, so you play to your strengths while ensuring there are no gaps.
And don’t forget, for all the above… REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW!
You can read more about the advantages of job sharing in our article here.
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Sarah started her career in fmcg marketing working as a brand manager on Clover and as an interim manager on Clover (twice) and Quorn. She founded a start-up interim management company in Gloucestershire and that business changed the percentage of women and diverse talent in senior marketing and HR roles. Sarah specialises in attracting, onboarding, developing, engaging and retaining diverse talent into forward thinking businesses to improve productivity, performance and profit. Flexible working and wellbeing play a large part. Since covid-19 wreaked havoc on the job landscape, Sarah has a created an innovative programme to get senior experienced professionals back into work or fine-tune their current role so that it makes happy.