What is job-sharing ?

A job-share is one job, with one job description and one identity carried out by two people.

Because both halves of the job-share partnership  perform one job, their identities often merge. In fact, job-sharers report that clients frequently can't tell the difference between them. For job-sharers, this is a mark of success.

A few steps to make job-sharing work for your staff

  • Make sure that your job-sharers meet regularly and, if possible, have a good idea of how they will work together before they start the job-share. Having very different styles of working can make things difficult. This doesn’t mean that job-share partners have to work in exactly the same way, but it is better if they have complementary styles
  • Try to share out tasks fairly so there is no sense of resentment that one person is getting the easier or more interesting tasks. This is particularly important if the job is not split 50:50.  Plan from the outset how the job-share partners will share particular responsibilities.  For instance, the job may be split according to the individual job-share partners' experience and skills
  • Make sure there is a good line of communication between your job-share partners. This is vital to ensure that nothing slips through the net and that they are aware of what the other is doing.  Have a handover period if possible. An example of this would be if each worked two and a half days and on the half day made sure that they crossed over for an hour so that they can make each other aware of what has been happening.  f this isn't possible, make sure they talk over the phone and email each other
  • Be very clear on how each partner stores information so that the other has access to it. This is important whether the information is stored in a filing cabinet or on a computer. Make sure there is an area which is jointly accessible by both partners
  • Set realistic expectations for the job-share and don't assume you will get double the productivity because there are two people doing one job
  • Ensure both job-share partners get access to training if necessary
  • Be very clear about things like holiday entitlement. For instance, bank holidays should be split fairly between the partners.  And be clear about what will happen should one partner leave.  Will they have the responsibility for finding a new job-share partner?
  • Job-shares require careful management. It can be difficult to performance manage two candidates doing the same job. You will need to develop strategies for ensuring that both candidates’ performance is fairly measured