Is it the next big thing?

Posts tagged ‘jobshare partners’

Why are Jobsharers More Productive and Less Stressed?

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One of the over arching benefits of successful Jobsharing that seems to come through from senior level Jobsharers is the benefit of the supportive nature of their partnership.  By being aware of and respecting each others’ motivations and strengths, as well as liking each other, Jobsharers seem to live a very fulfilled life both in terms of their career and their life outside of work.

So what does being in a supportive Jobshare mean and how does it translate in terms of benefits to the individuals and employers?  There are a number of key trends that have come through.

1. Improved Productivity
Senior level Jobsharers, Louise and Katie have been in their role as HR Business Partners for around two years.  Louise says “we have two minds on one role, most of the time we agree but when we disagree it’s good to have that differential and talk about it” and Katie says “when you’re part-time, you naturally have a higher level of productivity because you know you’ve got three days and you want to get a lot done, so employers are getting that double, because you’ve got two people with that mindset”.

2. Reduced Stress
Ruth who as progressed from part-time to Jobsharing in order to progress to a more senior level as Director of Strategy.  She said “I feel less stressed as a Jobsharer, because there’s a proper release valve, in other roles you might vent to your partner or husband at the end of the day, but they’re not in it, so we can really vent to each other and share the challenges, which means it’s not all in your head, and I find that to be really valuable.”

3. Increased Objectivity
Polly says “Jobsharing is really supportive, which means you can take braver decisions faster, because with the best will in the world, your boss, your mentor, etc. isn’t going to be quite as interested and involved as your Jobshare partner.  In particular on management decisions where you might be worried about being too subjective about a matter, when you have both picked up on it you can give clearer, stronger, more objective messages.”

These are just some of the significant benefits offered by successful senior level Jobsharing which also double up as reasons why Jobsharers are more productive and less stressed.  If you’d like to know more about how Jobsharing can work for you and/or your organisation you can register interest at http://www.ginibee.com/contact-us.html

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Jobsharing Top Tip #3: Trust Your Partner

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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 sara.horsfall@ginibee.com or register at www.ginibee.com . 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 bit.ly/ginibee_survey

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

 

Jobsharing Top Tip #1: Know Yourself

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This is the first of a series of posts looking at the fundamental components required to create a successful Jobshare partnership.

To “Know yourself” might sound a bit cheesy, but it’s true, when creating a shared identity with another, it’s important to delve beyond our skills. Whilst compatible skills are important, they are not fundamental because we can have the same skills as another but be unable to create a shared identity together. In fact, our attitude is more fundamental than our skills, which I touched upon in my previous post “It’s All About Trust”.

So stripping everything back to basics, whilst behavioural profiles are great at modelling our actions in a particular environment, to Jobshare successfully you need to be mindful of what drives each others behaviour, starting with your own.

So, the first and most fundamental piece to understand when considering a Jobshare is self-awareness, take a step back and really reflect on your motivations. If you haven’t yet considered a flexible working option then it might be a useful exercise to simply reflect on how you currently spend your time to at least check that you’re happy it’s right for you by asking yourself:

“How do you spend your time?

What are the 5 things you spend most of your time on?

What are the reasons you spend your time this way?”

If you’re considering a Jobshare then you may have already answered these questions and decided that you need to make a change, so well done!. In this case, to make sure you are going in the right direction, be mindful of: Do you know what you want in your life? Why do you work? What makes you feel good at work?

Once you know this information about yourself you can articulate it to a potential partner and vice versa.   Not only will this help in ensuring a compatible match but further down the line knowing this information and importantly, being mindful of it, will help you to have a fulfilling career and also to manage your interpretation of each others behaviour in the context of what you know about your motivations.

So in a nutshell

To establish an effective partnership, you need to understand who is coming into that relationship and fundamentally, that means understanding yourself. Self-awareness is critical, if you don’t know your own motivations, you can’t conceive how you are different to others. Therefore achieving results by working with others is made more complicated.

In my next post I’ll be exploring the next natural step which is to be aware of difference. We are all different and guess what, it’s a GOOD thing. Tune in next time for more on this.

If you’d like to anonymously help to increase understanding of peoples perceptions of Jobsharing, please complete our short survey at http://www.bit.ly/ginibee_survey .  Finally, if you’d like to explore Jobsharing as a career option with a work life balance, you can register at http://www.ginibee.com .  Until next time.

The World Of Work Is Changing

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The world of work is changing; as of the 30th June 2014 everyone has the right to request flexible working, so it’s no longer restricted to parents and carers. This is a strong acknowledgement by the UK government that the world of work is changing, we all have different life priorities and are limited by one mainstream working model (40+ hour full-time), which means our career consumes the majority of our attention during the week.  Current limitations surrounding career and work life balance and part-time career progression has led to startling statistics, such as:

• Stress and anxiety cost the UK government £15 billion each year and 35% of that is due to anxiety and depression.
• 57% of UK employees say their personal lives are affected because they spend too much time at work.
• 1/3 of organisations experience employee burnout
• Presenteeism is an issue, this is where people turn up to work because they believe being seen to be working is more important than being productive at work.

If you’d like to raise awareness in your organisation of these trends and how they can respond, you can use this infographic.

It’s great news that the government is creating a framework to enable flexible working, but it’s now up to individuals and organisations to make it work for us.

Jobsharing is the only flexible working solution which offers the opportunity and responsibility of a full-time career on part-time hours, without compromising on continuity. However, to achieve this win-win, it’s important:

  1.  that the hiring manager understands how to effectively manage a Jobshare
  2. that the Jobshare is well matched and tested
  3. have their plan in place so that they are ready to hit the ground running.

Jobsharing is different to other forms of flexible working, in that successful Jobsharing develops a number of skills. Apart from a heightened self-awareness, successful Jobsharers engage in an ongoing process of communication, compromise, creating shared identity, commitment, trust and working through difference. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about Jobsharing and Leadership, these essential leadership skills are developed “on the job” during a Jobshare, so it’s great personal development, but the set up process in terms of matching partnerships and setting their expectations of how to successfully Jobshare is essential.

The status quo of Jobsharing is that matches are made based on two people wanting to work a role part-time, often the Jobsharers have sought the partner themselves as they have been lucky enough to know someone in their department who shares the same motivations and skill sets. This is a highly risky strategy and as a result can yield both positive and negative experiences of Jobsharing. There is no doubt however, that the successful Jobshare partnerships such as those published in case studies by Deloitte, Eversheds, Lloyds, Unilever, have in common best practices which can be used to prepare Jobshare partnerships for success.

Over the next 5 posts, I’ll be sharing top tips of successful Jobsharing, which I have created based on my own experience as well as my experience researching, analysing and working with both successful and unsuccessful Jobshare partnerships.

If you are unemployed or work full-time but would like to reduce your hours, take control and join Ginibee’s Jobshare Network at http://www.ginibee.com. If you’re already a member of the network then you can attend one of the first Jobshare Accelerator Workshops that will take place in September, by registering at http://bit.ly/Ginibeews1

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