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Posts tagged ‘Jobshare flexible working’

Jobshare Top Tip #4: Act With Integrity

trust pic

In last month’s post, I covered the importance of a Jobsharer “deciding to trust” in order for a partnership to thrive. What’s interesting and scary at the same time about this decision, is the condition of having to offer the trust first in order to test the partnership, because taking this leap with someone you don’t necessarily know, is a tricky decision for most of us. This month I’m going to delve further into what makes us able to take this leap of faith and importantly, how we can learn to build trust.

Start With Self-Trust
If you remember my first post on successful Jobsharing, I stressed the importance of taking time to “Know Yourself”, because to create an effective partnership you need to first understand who’s coming into it. The same principle applies to trust. To trust anyone else, first you have to ask yourself honestly “do I trust myself? Am I someone others can trust?” What I’m saying here is the process of building trust with a Jobshare partner, starts even before your very first encounter, it’s with yourself. But it’s not just about words, we can all say “yes I trust myself” but is your behaviour reflective? As Covey quotes:

 “Trust is achieved through action”…. (not words)

Self-trust starts with the small things and to give an example, this year after reading Covey’s book I decided to take a leaf out of it and here’s what I did. Until a few weeks ago, I would always set my alarm before going to bed knowing full well I was going to snooze it in the morning several times before I would actually get out of bed. What’s the point in that? Essentially, I was starting every day by breaking a promise to myself – a behaviour congruent with self-trust would be to set the alarm for 15 minutes later, allow myself the snooze and commit to getting up on the first alarm. So, that’s what I did. I decided to take the small but also significant step of promising myself every night that I would get up when the alarm goes off.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
The fact is, we all judge others by our own standards, because what other benchmark do we have? But if we can’t make and keep commitments to ourselves, it will subconsciously affect our ability to trust others. So if you’re concerned about how you could trust someone else, start with yourself, make and keep a promise to yourself from today, and stick with it. The small things DO count.

Taking this to the next level of “Relationship Trust” involves the same rules. Exploring a potential Jobsharer’s competence may involve a lot of words about experience and motivations. This is all great, but as Covey says

 “what you do has far greater impact than anything you say” (Covey p128)

To act with integrity is vital; talk straight, demonstrate respect, know that little things have a disproportionate impact when building trust. Don’t make a promise you can’t keep and communicate, communicate, communicate; if you say you’ll get back to someone that day, keep to your promise even if it’s to say you can’t meet the deadline. Things you may feel are unimportant are likely to be exactly the opposite when it comes to building trust.  A great read to explore this subject further is Stephen Covey’s book “Speed of Trust”.

 If you’d like to find out more about Jobsharing, how to create a successful partnership or how it could benefit you or your organisation, you can register at or contact me at

How To Use Jobsharing To Create Highly Effective Leaders

The following post is a guest blog I contributed to the Professional Academy in January 2015.  I thought it would be useful to share it.

Creating the right environment to develop effective leaders can be a challenge. Sara Horsfall from Jobshare specialists Ginibee shares her vision for using flexible working to fast-track leadership development.

We are experiencing a crisis in leadership development. The current system is not working, and many high performing employees who aren’t able to work long hours are being overlooked for leadership positions.

What if there was another option?

I specialise in creating successful Jobshare partnerships, and in my experience I have encountered many high performing, high profile partnerships, where leadership roles are shared. Many of the key attributes of good leaders are essential for effective Jobsharing.

What if there was a requirement for Jobsharing as part of leadership training for both full-time and part-time employees? I believe this would help to bridge the leadership gap and produce improved opportunities for leadership development, compatible with career flexibility.

Leadership crisis in management

The leadership crisis

A survey by Human Resources blog TLNT in October 2014 revealed 42% of executives say company growth plans are “slowed by lack of access to the right leadership”.

And there is considerable dissatisfaction with the state of leadership despite significant investment.

Clearly, something needs to change.

We know that women account for only 20.7% of board positions despite many having the necessary skills. What if there was a way to ensure more women were given opportunities to prove and use their leadership skills even if they weren’t able to work full-time? And this doesn’t just apply to women. What about people preparing for retirement, or caring for a relative?

What makes a good leader?So what makes a good leader?

The subject of leadership can be a tricky one that is interpreted in many different ways, which perhaps contributes to the level of dissatisfaction that exists.

A survey by TLNT suggested that communication skills and humility are the top two leadership traits.

So how do developing leaders learn and practice these skills? And how do organisations create the opportunity for both men and women to practice these skills at all levels and at all points in their career, whether they’re working part-time or full-time?

Is job-sharing for you?Could Jobsharing be the answer?

I’d like you to imagine an organisation where leadership development and flexible working are harmonious. Where ‘required Jobsharing’ is an essential part of practicing important leadership skills ‘on the job’.

Employees who work full-time can share more than one role. In other words, ‘required Jobsharing’ not only develops leaders who want to work full-time and can share more than one role, but it offers a career development opportunity to those who need to work part-time through Jobsharing a career role.

Using Jobsharing in this way increases the pool of candidates for potential leadership roles and encourages equality, diversity and flexibility throughout the company.

How to integrate Jobsharing into your leadership development programme?

  • Open up all full-time leadership roles to applications from Jobshare partnerships.
  • Empower and enable employees to find and create Jobshare partnerships.
  • Actively support shared objectives, identity and accountability as a way of demonstrating strong leadership skills

Jobsharing: Learning To Walk

Blog1 - Learning to Walk

Hi, my name is Sara Horsfall and I own a business called Ginibee Ltd, which is about helping people and employers take their first steps in jobsharing. I was inspired to set up Ginibee to help create more accessible part-time employment choices for people, as most of us, at some point in our career are likely to need something outside of the full-time job or no-job spectrum.

What is Jobsharing?
A jobshare is where two people share full responsibility for the delivery of one role and its results to an organisation. A jobshare is one role, one set of performance criteria, one shared identity created by two people. It’s important also to understand that, contrary to initial perception, jobsharing isn’t an option that involves less commitment.

In fact, a successful jobshare is quite the opposite; it’s a way of life which enables a number of priorities to be more equally balanced. This will undoubtedly involve compromise and anyone embarking on this strategy must be prepared to give a little in order to create the life balance they will receive.

How I Came into Jobsharing
My life change began in 2009 when, with 13 years experience in various commercial management roles, I had my first child and began my role as a mother with zero years experience! Naturally, I wanted to be able to grow in both roles and so needed to create more time for my family as well as continue with my career. I was fortunate at the time to be employed by a company that was happy to find a way to accommodate my circumstances. I had a senior role in product management which on reflection, in many ways I approached as a jobshare. It worked successfully for over two years, delivering results for the organisation and giving me more time with my family as I worked remotely for three days a week.

In 2012 when I had my second child, the company was restructured to be sold and the role was made redundant. I was thrust into the job market as a well qualified, experienced career woman and mother, looking for a job that would enable me to balance new priorities.

My Experience Trying to Find a Flexible Job
From a position of unemployment, I had two options to pursue: working full-time in a career or working full-time as a mother. Neither of these paths would allow me to fulfill both roles to the extent I needed. Despite the perception of there being part-time career roles, in reality, I didn’t find any in my location that were in my field, and I felt powerless to find another solution.

In 2012, 49 percent of women gave birth in their 30s with more established careers. With 5.3 million working mums in the UK alone, I wondered, “Where are the accessible flexible career options that are available to anyone?” This is why I started Ginibee: It’s where jobsharing starts. Not every “career role” can be scaled down to part-time, or be a remote role, but nearly every role could be shared.

The First Steps of Jobsharing: Learning to Walk
Jobsharing is a win-win for organisations and individuals, yet it remains the least popular of the flexible working options, with only 17 percent of organisations offering jobshare roles. Organisations who have tried jobsharing claim its benefits far outweigh any risks, which raises the question: What are we scared of?

One of the unique aspects of a successful jobshare is the blend of social and professional interaction. For a jobshare to work, there needs to be a complementary match of professional skills between the people sharing the role, but there also needs to be a complementary blend of goals, values, and work ethic, and a unique way of sharing tacit knowledge which is developed by the partnership. So, partners need to make an effort up front to learn about each other. This social-professional interaction can mean stepping out of our comfort zone with a stranger and asking questions of each other which we often don’t know about ourselves—a bit like therapy!

For example, to understand someone’s work ethic you need to make an effort to get to know them, their attitude towards work, what they think about work, how important work is to them, what makes them stressed or satisfied, and what working enables them to do in relation to their life.

In a traditional work role, you wouldn’t necessarily know this about your colleagues—or consciously about yourself—but in a jobshare set-up, it’s an essential part of building the foundation. Essentially, you coach each other by talking about your career. This type of social professional interaction can only be a good thing in the workplace because it increases self awareness and personal development.

The reality is, jobsharing is ingrained in our lives but we don’t refer to it as “jobsharing.” When I had my first baby, the labour took 36 hours, and during that time, there were three midwives and various other obstetricians involved. In what was a customer facing, time critical, life critical process, a single role was successfully shared. Surely if this type of role can be successfully shared, so can any other. Just like learning to walk, it can seem like a mission to try something new, but once you know how to take your first step, the rest comes naturally.

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