As a Jobshare specialist, one of the common questions and misunderstandings we come up against is “but how is Jobsharing different to part-time?”
Successfully differentiating between part-time roles and Jobshares is a key step to enable organisations to take full advantages of this way of working. The answer to this question is simple, the key difference for organisations is CONTINUITY.
In other words, two part-time roles carrying the same title is not a Jobshare, why? because without a handover, communication and ownership of the full-time role there is an ongoing break in continuity on a weekly basis. This means that progress with clients, colleagues and projects regularly comes to a standstill until the part-time employee returns to catch up and progress their tasks.
A Jobshare partnership is set up so that both partners take ownership of the full-time duties from the outset, whilst leadership on particular accounts or projects may emerge, the handover and communication covers all aspects. This means that there is no break in continuity and no catch up, so productivity and progress is optimised and continues on a full-time basis.
For the Jobsharers, this means their days off really are days off and often feedback that it’s a very supportive arrangement because you have another to share ideas and challenges with, who has an equal interest in making the role a success. Something which can’t be replicated by a boss, a partner at home or another colleague as they aren’t in the same role.
A common mistake made when embarking on a Jobshare is to split the role into two prior to recruitment and the challenge this can create (apart from additional work for HR) is a disconnect of ownership within the Jobshare itself, which can lead to competition and unhelpful behaviour patterns emerging across the partnership.
Check out this case study and if you’d like to find out about how Jobsharing can work for your organisation, as part of talent attraction or retention strategy, contact email@example.com.
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 www.ginibee.com Equally if your organisation can benefit from Jobsharing, please contact Sara Horsfall at firstname.lastname@example.org