Q&A: Unlocking the potential of job sharing
Rachel and Hannah put forward the case for job sharing, while sharing their tips on how to make it a success, with guidance for businesses and employees considering it as an option.
Can you please explain the job share model?
Job sharing is simply performing the needs of a full-time role, carried out by two (or more) people in a part time pattern. Typically, one partner works the first part of the week and the other the latter part, with a working crossover day.
How important is job sharing in promoting equality and diversity, especially when cultivating a talent pipeline of leaders?
We don’t have enough women in decision making roles; therefore, a critical voice and perspective is lost. Job sharing enables women/carers/those who cannot commit to full time to occupy senior high impact roles on an upward career trajectory whilst advancing the strategic needs of the business.
Executive boards can be echo chamber of views and perspectives if diversity in opinion, background, experience and other characteristics aren’t factored in when selecting their leaders.
What other benefits can be unlocked by job sharing - for staff and businesses?
The employer gains two minds to one role, two sets of skills, experiences and knowledge and two unique perspectives, as well as accessing an untapped talent pool and securing business continuity in the role. Individuals gain the infinite benefits of true work life balance.
Together, this heightens engagement and productivity, with a win-win for staff and businesses.
Do you have any tips on making job sharing a success?
A job share arrangement is only as successful as its handover, which must be watertight. Strong communication skills and trust in your partner to take ownership on your working days is a must.
Be respectful of one another’s boundaries and disciplined with priorities. Successful job sharers are collaborative and love working in a team. A competitive edge should be channelled into improving your collective output as opposed to blame or glory hunting.
Job sharers accept praise and critique in equal measure.
How about guidance for businesses considering it as an option?
Businesses understand the huge benefits of teamwork, but most don’t recognise that job sharing as just that – a micro team, achieving solution driven results fuelled by the synergy of two.
Be open minded to the opportunity that job sharing will afford you – a diverse, engaged, energised workforce, where the opportunity for burnout is significantly reduced due to built in rest days.
Rachel Maguire and Hannah Hall-Turner will both be speaking at Shoosmiths’ ‘The anywhere office - friend or foe to flexible working?’ event on Wednesday 4 May.
Register to attend here.
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