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Job share jobs sound like the perfect way of doing a challenging job but only part time and the bosses get the experience of two people for the price of one. But how can you avoid the pitfalls of job sharing?
Job shares are a two for one deal. Employers get two people’s experience for the price of one. However, having two people doing one job can create complications and it is best to be aware of them before you dive in so that you can sort as many of them out as possible in advance. We offer some tips for how to have a successful job share.
1. Make sure that you meet your job share partner and, if possible, have a fairly good idea of how they work, etc, before you start the job share. If you have completely clashing styles of working it can make things more difficult. That doesn’t mean you have to work in the same way, but it is good to have complementary styles.
2. Try to share out the tasks fairly so there is no sense of resentment that one person is getting an easier/more interesting job. This is particularly important if the job is not split 50-50. Sit down and plan from the outset how you will share particular tasks. For instance, the job may be split according to the individual job share candidates‘ experience and skills.
3. Ensure you have a good line of communication with your job share partner. Communication is vital so that you know what each other is doing and nothing slips through the net. If possible have a handover period, for instance, if you do two and a half days on the half day make sure you cross over for an hour so that you can fill your partner in on what has been happening. If this is not possible, make sure you have a chat over the phone and email your partner with any vital things she/he needs to be aware of. Don’t, if possible, just leave it to email exchanges. Written communication can be confusing and it is best to talk through the issues and any surrounding issues.
4. Be very clear on how you are going to store information so that your job share partner has access, whether this is in a filing cabinet or on your computer. Make sure there is an area which is jointly accessible by both people.
5. Make sure your manager sets realistic expectations for the job share and does not assume he or she should get double the productivity out of you because there are two of you.
6. Ensure both you and your job share get access to training if it is applicable to both of you.
7. Be very clear about things like holiday entitlement. For instance, bank holidays should be split fairly between the two job share candidates. Also be clear of what will happen should your job share partner leave. Do you have responsibility for finding a new job share partner?
8. Job shares require careful management. It can be difficult to performance manage two candidates doing the same job. Managers will have to develop strategies for ensuring that both candidates’ performance is fairly measured.