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Posts tagged ‘effective communication’

Jobsharing Top Tip #3: Trust Your Partner


In my blog post earlier this year I wrote about the importance of Trust in achieving speed in business which feeds into productivity, effectiveness and cost. This is the third trait when it comes to successful Jobsharing, not only in terms of creating a functional partnership but also in realising the advantages of Jobsharing both on a personal and an organisational level.

A common concern is “how can I trust that someone else will do as good a job as I will?”, “how can I trust someone I don’t really know?”. Having Jobshared successfully and unsuccessfully I have experience of this and how it can break down, so I reflected on my own experience and also the experiences of senior level Jobsharers I have come across in my research. To help portray the mindset and successful habits that support this characteristic, I’m going to share with you three crucial quotes I have come across in my research.

It’s a Conscious Decision

“You have to just decide to trust the person because if you don’t it’s just not going to work. It’s a bit like jumping into a swimming pool and you hope it’s full of water, if it’s not going to work you need to know fast” (Polly Payne & Ruth Hannant, Directors of Strategy at Department for Business Innovation & Skills)

This is the underlying mindset of a successful Jobshare partner, also demonstrating the simplicity of the change that needs to happen for Jobsharing to become mainstream; away from suspicion and doubt and towards trust. It’s a conscious decision to trust from the outset made by the Jobsharer and one that won’t be without risk, but will be an informed decision based on whether the benefits outweigh the perceived risk.

Give yourself permission to trust another at work so you can have the work life balance that you need. Only then, will you be able to truly benefit from the Jobshare; your days off really will be days off, you will develop a shared approach and communicate more effectively, you will learn from each other, you will deal will difference constructively.

Demonstrate Trust

Another important quote came from senior level Jobsharer Deborah Bronnert:

“Always be available to your Jobshare partner on your non-working days, never be available to anyone else” (Deborah Bronnert, COO at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and previous Jobsharer)

This is a crucial habit to get into right from the start and certainly one which I believe contributed to the breakdown of my previous work partnership. Ensure a full and complete handover and then trust your partner to deal effectively with any and all outstanding or related actions or conversations. If you take over responsibility on your non-working days, this can be extremely damaging not only for demonstrating and acting with trust towards your partner, but also in terms of setting the precedent for taking the time that this work practice creates for you to focus on other things.

 “Any big decision on one of the other’s days that we haven’t talked about before we will always ring each other. We wouldn’t make a decision that changed the direction of something without consulting the other person” (Polly Payne & Ruth Hannant, Directors of Strategy at Department for Business Innovation & Skills)

This demonstrates the crucial trust and respect needed for a Jobshare arrangement to work, being available for a short consultation phonecall from your Jobshare partner, at your convenience on your non-working day, is very different from opening up a direct line of contact to another work colleague. When working a high profile, senior level role and spending spend quality time on things outside of work is no longer mutually exclusive, being available occasionally to your jobshare partner is not a chore but simply an enabler to this lifestyle.


How Can You Help?

If you are interested in learning more about how Jobsharing could help you or your organisation please contact or register at . If you’d like to help improve our understanding and awareness of perceptions about Jobsharing please take some time to complete this short survey at

In my next blog I’ll be talking about Acting with Integrity, the next successful habit of a Jobsharer.


Jobsharing top tip #2: Appreciate Your Differences

Laughing with Fiona

Effectively adapting to your differences is the key to success or failure in a Jobshare. In my last blog I wrote about the first of five top tips when it comes to successful Jobsharing, the importance of self-awareness to “know yourself” and be mindful of your motivations, as this will come in useful to get the most out of the role. Once you are aware of your own motivations, you need to be aware of those of others around you and in particular, those of your Jobshare partner. When you talk through your motivations with your Jobshare partner, listen out for what you don’t already know, because guess what… we’re all unique with our own experiences preferences and personalities and difference is good.

Awareness and appreciation of our differences means we can effectively bring the benefits of diversity to our role. During my MBA, I studied knowledge creation and what makes us want to share or hoard and my research uncovered two key patterns;

1. Too much similarity actually slows down knowledge creation, why? because we don’t challenge each other’s assumptions enough which can mean that we repeat mistakes or feel disappointed when difference emerges.

2. Too much difference makes it difficult for us to create a shared frame of reference and can create suspicion, which slows knowledge transfer as we hoard our knowledge.

So it’s important to have some common ground to relate to through which you can create shared understanding. This is where the importance of skills overlap and getting to know another comes into play.

Well matched partnerships have enough difference to stimulate creativity, problem solving, and accountability for your actions to another, which improves effectiveness and productivity. Appreciating difference will help to effectively set up a Jobshare role and to successfully exploit each other’s strengths and to learn from each other when you discover an approach that works well.

To find out more about Jobsharing and register to become a Jobshare partner you can sign up today at   Equally if your organisation can benefit from Jobsharing, please contact Sara Horsfall at

It’s All About Trust

trust pic

Trust is at a two year low across UK organisations according to the CIPD Employee Outlook survey for Spring 2014.  What does this mean?

According to Stephen Covey, it means reduced speed and increased cost of business, which makes perfect sense to me.  Let’s see, in high trust organisations, employees are empowered to make decisions and so business moves forward quickly and efficiently.  In low trust organisations, endless sign off procedures to authorise even the most minor business decision mean something like due diligence for example, can take several months and cost businesses millions.  Is it just me or does it seem rather ironic that one of the main contributors to reducing trust (and therefore increasing cost) can be a redundancy programme?!  Perhaps we should take a leaf out of the Germans book and consider work sharing or even better, Jobsharing as a more effective way of increasing productivity and building trust whilst streamlining costs?.

Developing trust from an early stage is a key trait to master and live as part of a Jobshare lifestyle and indeed as an effective leader. The benefit of this is much wider of course, as once you become aware of how trust links to behaviour and intentions, you will be able to make better sense of other types of relationships personally and professionally. Last weekend whilst on a course, someone suggested to me that being amongst the last people to leave was a sign of commitment, this is a huge and typical assumption that “face time” equals commitment.  What wasn’t known was the motivations of others, what they wanted to get out of each day, what other priorities they had in their life, what they were leaving to do and so huge assumptions had been made based on an individuals interpretation of behaviour.  Perhaps this type of assumption is the kind of lack of understanding that has led to organisational issues like Presenteeism.

My interest in this is linked to my research into how partnerships can be effectively matched as part of a Jobshare arrangement, I’ve looked into different types of psychometric tests all of which review our behaviour in different circumstances.  However, since our behaviour is simply our execution of intentions, or motivations, perhaps when building trust across partnerships, we should begin by raising awareness and articulating our motivations.  By sharing our motivations, we can more effectively interpret the behaviours of others and make judgements based on our understanding of their motivations rather than our perception of their behaviour; a good habit to get into in any relationship.

So where can you start? Self awareness is key, ask yourself do you know what your work motivations and intentions are? Do you articulate them to others? The key to building trust is to behave with integrity, be consistent with your motivations, keep your promises to yourself and to others.  Even something as simple as when you receive an e-mail or a phone message do you respond straight away or within a specific time frame? Do you set expectations and meet them?.  Fostering trust is all about the detail, If you can’t keep a promise, then don’t make it, because it’s the day to day behaviours that we may consider irrelevant, that lead to success or failure where building trust in relationships is concerned.

In my next post I will be talking about the top tips for successful Jobsharing.  If you are interested in Job sharing as a way of continuing part-time with your career so you can have more time with your family, or with your studies or other interests, you can join the Jobshare Network at Ginibee today for free at

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