Job Sharing is a flexible work model in which two professionals (“jobmates”) with common and complementary skills share a full-time position, each on a part-time basis. In other words, it is about maintaining the same career at reduced working hours. Learn more about job sharing.
European and Australian experiences show that 3-5% of the employees may take advantage of job sharing when offered as a benefit. So, job sharing is not going to be a major distraction for the employer. However, when offered as a benefit to all employees, it would be a competitive advantage for retaining existing talents and acquiring new ones, esp. women and millennials (read about Workplace flexibility).
So what’s involved in the implementation of job sharing?
1 Offer job sharing as a benefit to all employees.
The most important step is for the Human Resources (HR) and business leaders to make a policy decision to offer job sharing as a benefit to all employees. Without a formal policy, job sharing arrangements can still be made but as an exception and at the discretion of the manager. Moreover, some employees may believe asking for job sharing option would limit their career advancement. Putting a formal policy in place makes it open, inviting, and consistent.
Job sharing is not for everyone, does not apply to every position and only a small percentage of employees (3-5%) may take advantage of it. However, the benefits of this flexible work model greatly outweigh the policy implementation.
2 Provide basic training on job sharing for managers.
It is critical for managers to be onboard with the job sharing work model, be supportive of it, and understand how to implement it. JobPairing.com offers a free 1-hour webinar on basic job sharing training for managers as part of the deployment process. Areas that managers may be most curious about include performance managing a pair, concerns about overhead (managing two people instead of one), what happens if one jobmate leaves, who is responsible for what, how do jobmates communicate with the rest of the organization, and more. Check out the FAQand templates & tools on the job pairing website for more information.
3 Communicate the availability of job sharing as a benefit to all employees.
Encourage employees to approach their managers and HR if they need to reduce their working hours, and explore job sharing as an option. Availability of job sharing in the Employer’s benefits package should be publicized internally to improve retention and externally to improve talent acquisition as this option resonates with working women and millennials who may be looking for a greater work-life balance.
There should also be collateral to help employees find a compatible jobmate and work with their managers to detail a job sharing arrangement. Check out Templates & Tools on job pairing website for more information.
You will be in good company
As strange as “sharing a job” may sound, it is not a new concept and you will not be the first employer to deploy it for your organization. 48% of businesses in the UK, and in average 25% of European businesses, already offer job sharing as an option to their employees. Many forward-looking companies in the U.S. including Accenture, Dell, GE, Intel, PwC, and Cisco to name a few, currently offer job sharing to their employees as well. And the Federal Government has been offering job sharing to all Federal employees since 1978 following a legislation that passed at the time.