Job share means two people sharing one role. It is one of the most effective flexible working options as it allows employees to have a meaningful career whilst increasing productivity for an organisation. Yet job share is often created reactively, for example when two women are coming back from maternity leave at similar times. Companies don’t necessarily take the time to ensure the partners are a good match and their arrangement is well structured. This article summarises the most common mistakes Gemini3 has seen through its multiple interviews and meetings with job share partners and companies supporting job share.
- Match for convenience
Many job share arrangements are created reactively and for convenience. One of the common mistakes is when job share partners do not take the time to get to know each other prior to starting their arrangement. Using unbiased psychometric tools to understand each individual’s strengths and weaknesses can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful partnership. Through our research Gemini3 has uncovered the key attributes to not only create an effective pair but also to increase productivity of the role.
- Don’t have face to face hand-over time
Face to face time is a golden rule when it comes to job share. It is highly important for the partners to have at least an hour to meet face to face and share projects but also challenges they face. Technology can play a great role in creating effective communication between the partners but it will never replace face to face connection.
- Don’t have a clear job share plan
Most job share partners start their arrangement without taking the time to sit and plan properly. Conflicts and miscommunication can be avoided by writing down a 360 Charter which gives a clear view on how the partnership works. This includes; working days, stakeholders, meetings held together vs separate, reporting lines, etc. This document can then help to consistently communicate the arrangement to anyone in the business and avoid the classic “how does this work?” question.
- Having additional responsibilities to the job share role
A job share arrangement needs to have a fair balance between the two partners. The moment one partner is in the office more time or has additional responsibilities it becomes more difficult to manage shared tasks. Ideally partners should share equally all tasks even extra curriculum activities.
- Don’t check on each other
The last, but important, common mistake is not taking care of each other. Too often partners get caught up in the day to day and don’t take the time to ask how the arrangement is going for both of them. It is highly recommend to have at least 15min in the weekly face to face time to simply take a step back and ensure both partners are happy with the arrangement.
Gemini3 offers job share toolkits and training to help support job share partners. Contact us if you would like more information firstname.lastname@example.org.