Through our Women’s Leadership Programme we see first-hand that the businesses most successful in creating diverse senior teams are those open to exploring positive solutions, and research from the ‘Power Part Time List’ shows that job shares are one of the options being adopted.
It revealed that there is now a record number of senior job shares, and this is being attributed to more organisations looking to change from the traditional office hours as a way to attract and keep the very best people.
It’s important to recognise that job shares do require a commitment from everyone involved and won’t be right for all employees or organisations. Our focus is on encouraging organisations to consider and explore all flexible working options as part of their talent recruitment and retention strategies. Here are some of the ways in which job shares might work for your organisation and the benefits to both the business and its employees.
Increased senior team diversity
Job shares enable employers to offer part-time working hours without compromising on providing a full-time level of service, people management and strategic input. It enables employees to meet the demands of challenging, business critical roles, while still working genuinely part time hours. Christina Youell, co-founder of our Women’s Leadership Programme, describes them as talent partnerships. She said: “Through job shares, you find a talent shortage fix, where people can balance work and caregiving. If it’s the same person you need 40 hours a week, and that’s all you’re open to hiring, they’re generally male. Talent partnerships open the door to more women remaining in the talent pipeline.”
Job shares won’t just appeal to women either. In the current competitive recruitment market, businesses are working harder than ever to enhance their employer brand. Being seen as an organisation which embraces flexible working opportunities, such as job shares, in order to support its employees to achieve a work-life balance, will appeal to people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.
They can also be an effective way of retaining and progressing talented employees by catering for people’s changing working needs throughout their careers, such as a need for increased flexibility due to a change in personal circumstances. The Job Share Project survey revealed that for 87% of respondents, job sharing had meant the difference between staying with a company or leaving. Unlike going part-time, job shares reduce pressure on employees to try to fit five days of work into less hours. It can also reduce the impact on the engagement of the wider team. They are less likely to feel they are left picking up extra work or lacking in management support.
Increased innovation and engagement
Two people in one role can bounce suggestions of each other and bring different experiences to the table. Senior employees are often faced with challenging situations and as the saying goes, two heads are better than one. Those in the job share are also likely to be more productive and engaged. They can focus on work when they are in the office and not be distracted by trying to juggle personal commitments.
Inspirational case studies
As the Power Part Time List shows, more businesses are adopting job shares and gaining the benefit of full-time expertise and productivity, while offering the flexibility of part-time working. Many of these organisations are proactively sharing their stories of how job shares have worked for them and their employees. This gives businesses more background and informed advice on how it could work in their own company.
Our expert consultants can also advise clients on how job shares and other flexible working practices can best suit their business and support their talent recruitment and retention strategies. Contact us to arrange an informal chat about how we could help.