Job sharing often gets a bad rap within the business community; we have all heard of or experienced job-sharing disasters, but does that mean your organisation shouldn’t try it? This blog will examine the theme: how to make job sharing work well.
Initially, what is job sharing for those that aren’t aware? Job sharing is a work arrangement where two or more employees share the responsibilities, hours, and workload of a single full-time position. It allows individuals to divide the tasks and responsibilities of a job between them, typically working part-time hours each.
Job sharing offers several benefits for both employees and employers. Here are some key advantages:
- Work-Life Balance: Job sharing allows employees to achieve a better work-life balance by reducing their working hours and sharing responsibilities. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals with personal commitments or those seeking more flexibility in their work arrangements.
- Diverse Skill Sets: Job sharing often brings together employees with different skills, strengths, and perspectives. This diversity can enhance problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration within the role.
- Retention and Engagement: Job sharing can increase employee retention rates and job satisfaction. Employees who have the opportunity to balance work and personal life are often more engaged and committed to their positions.
There are however some disadvantages to job sharing. First and foremost, if the two employees are not compatible with each other, this could lead to friction and possibly work being completed to sub-standards or not completed at all. Moreover, in the event of annual leave, sickness absence or resignation, the role is essentially full-time; how will the work be covered? Job sharing also adds an element of legal risk as both workers are part-time employees; as such, each of them must be treated as individuals in respect of their statutory and contractual rights and responsibilities.
Despite the disadvantages, job sharing can work! We at ViewHR have put together eight golden rules to ensure your organisation makes job sharing work well:
1. Open and Transparent Communication: Effective communication is key to a successful job-sharing arrangement. Encourage open and regular communication between job share partners to ensure a smooth handover of tasks, a clear understanding of responsibilities, and coordination. To keep everyone informed, utilise communication tools such as shared calendars, email updates, or collaborative project management platforms.
2. Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each job share partner. Establish clear guidelines on task allocation, decision-making, and accountability. This helps minimise confusion and ensures that both employees clearly understand their duties and expectations.
3. Document Processes and Procedures: Document important processes, procedures, and work-related information to facilitate seamless transitions between job share partners; this includes documenting key contacts, project updates, ongoing tasks, and any specific instructions or preferences related to the job.
4. Cross-Training and Knowledge Sharing: Encourage cross-training between job share partners to ensure both individuals have the necessary skills and knowledge to handle various aspects of the job; this allows for better coverage and ensures that critical tasks can be managed by either partner when needed.
5. Flexibility and Adaptability: Job sharing requires flexibility and adaptability from both job share partners. Employees should be open to adjusting schedules, coordinating meetings, and accommodating each other’s needs. A cooperative and supportive attitude towards each other’s personal and professional commitments helps create a positive working environment.
6. Clear Boundaries and Handover Procedures: Establish clear boundaries and handover procedures to ensure a smooth transition between job share partners. Communicate how and when tasks and information should be handed over, ensuring that important details are not missed during the transition.
7. Regular Check-ins and Evaluations: Schedule regular check-ins and evaluations to assess the effectiveness of the job sharing arrangement. Discuss any challenges or areas for improvement openly and collaboratively. Check-ins provide an opportunity to address concerns, make adjustments if necessary, and ensure ongoing success.
8. Supportive Work Environment: Foster a supportive work environment that values and recognises the contributions of both job share partners. Promote teamwork, collaboration, and mutual respect among colleagues; by doing this, employers help to create a positive atmosphere which contributes to the overall success of the job-sharing arrangement.
By implementing these tips, employers can enhance the effectiveness of a job sharing arrangement and create a positive and productive work environment for all involved.
If you would like help on how to implement a job sharing arrangement, or would like to train managers on how to oversee the arrangement best, please contact ViewHR today.