Flexibility in working hours, stress reduction methods, wellness programmes in the workplace. These are all the types of set up that millennials and young people from other generations like to see in a company when they are applying for jobs. Work life balance and a company with strong ethical values are often cited as being more important than a high salary for recent graduates and other young students and school leavers.
One of the ways that employers can demonstrate that they are committed to the idea of more flexibility when it comes to working hours is by offering the opportunity of job sharing. As with any initiative introduced into the workplace, there can be difficulties and drawbacks to job share set-ups but there are also various advantages for you as an employer if you do introduce it.
Depending on the nature of your company, it may not be suitable to set up job share opportunities but, where this system is possible, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons for employers. Later, you will be able to make a more informed decision as to whether or not you think it would be a good fit for the roles on offer within your company.
What Is Job Share?
First of all, what is job share and how is it different to creating part time positions? Job share is different because you have a situation where two or more people are sharing one full time role. In effect, they are working as one.
So, if you are company that deals with lots of customers and clients, your two job share partners will share the same customer accounts and work on the same projects. Whatever bonuses and benefits they receive in their role, also go to the job share partner.
What Are The Advantages Of Job Share In The Workplace?
For you as an employer, what are the advantages to having two people doing one job in your workplace? Here are a few of the pros.
Job Share Can Boost Your Recruitment Numbers
When you advertise and become known as a company that is open to flexibility and willing to consider a job share situation for some roles, this can give your recruitment a big boost. Not all of your candidates will be looking for full time work so, by offering job share, you are not missing out on this talent.
Also, even if you are seen to be offering job share opportunities, young people who are looking to work full time – and not necessarily wanting to do job share right now – are more likely to apply for roles at your company rather than with companies with no reputation for flexibility. They want to work for companies who are open to flexible working hours.
So, offering job share situations can in fact give you an edge over your competitors when it comes to recruitment time.
Job Share Can Boost Your Staff Retention
Staff retention is valued by most employers and job share can go a long way to boosting the number of staff who choose to stay working for you. Whilst, for many, there is no longer a ‘job for life,’ job share could encourage members of staff to stay who might otherwise have felt compelled to look for a new role within another company.
This could be staff who are looking to start a family or who need less working hours because they have other commitments. Job share means those staff members can stay on in their role and you no longer have the headache – or cost – of recruiting someone new to the role.
Job Share Can Give You A Double Whammy
When you create a job share situation, you can get a double hit of positivity. One job but two valued employees. That’s two sets of brains working towards the same goal. Two sets of enthusiasm and two sets of creativity. This can be a real boost for your company.
Job Share Can Increase Productivity
Job share can increase productivity in the workplace in a number of ways. When you have two partners working towards the same goal, they are conscious of not letting the other partner down in any way. So, each person will be more productive, making sure to get their share of the work completed because of the accountability.
Another way in which productivity is increased with job share is because your staff are not as stressed or tired. These days, many people with careers are working long hours and feeling stressed as a result of the workload and commutes. Job share means staff feel fresher from less commuting and a reduction in hours where they are needed in the workplace. They are also more relaxed because they have extra time away from the workplace.
The third way in which productivity can be increased by job share is the fact that your two partners can share the workload according to their skill sets and strengths. This means you have two staff members leveraging their skills to reach a common goal.
Job Share Can Reduce Absenteeism
There will always be situations when members of staff will need to take time off work to be with their children or to deal with other commitments. For some companies, however, absenteeism can be a problem because full time staff are taking sickness leave.
Job share can create a more relaxed, less tired staff and, therefore, a more motivated and healthy staff. They will be less likely to feel they have to take time off sick and do your absenteeism is reduced.
A Bigger Staff Pool
Depending on the nature of your company, there could be times when you get a spike in demand for particular products and you need extra pairs of hands to cover the situation for a short amount of time. You might also be glad of extra staff at busy summer holiday periods when your team are trying to book their dates for annual leave.
In job share situations, this stress can be relieved a little because your partners can cover for each other when the other has taken holidays or is away from the workplace for other reasons. Better to have someone covering a role they know and who knows the workplace than having to recruit temporary agency staff, for example.
Sharing The Load
Not all jobs fit into neat brackets of a 9-5 40 hour work week. Some positions could be ideally suited to more than 40 hours. Having two people covering the one role could prove to be an ideal scenario as opposed to creating two part time roles or two separate full time positions that could prove costly.
Job Sharing Boosts The Teamwork Ethos
Job sharing in the workplace means there will be a strong ethos of teamwork and this will be beneficial for your company. Your job share partners will need to have time arranged so that they are in the workplace at the same time for a short period each week. This can be handover meetings or a meeting to decide on how to progress with a project.
Job share means more collaboration and your partners can also bounce ideas off each other. Compromise means they will be often working in different ways to what they are accustomed to so it also promotes a culture of being open to new ideas. Your job share partners could become a formidable team, feeding off each other to introduce innovative ideas and ways of working, learning from each other as they progress.
Communication skills are also boosted when it comes to job share. Both partners need to be up to speed with what the other is doing and how projects are progressing. As an employer, you also need to be aware of where your job share staff are at. Communication between all parties needs to be clear.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Job Share In The Workplace?
As with any list of pros, there is always a list of cons that you can add alongside them. The job share situation is no exception. However, you might find that the pros far outweigh the cons for your particular business. Let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages to offering job share in your company.
Two Instead Of One
If you are an employer within a large company that has its own dedicated HR department then having two lots of administrative duties to deal with rather than one might not be too much of a concern for you. However, if you are an employer within an SME and you look after a lot of the paperwork and policies for your staff, then this might be something worth taking into consideration.
The Team Doesn’t Gel
It isn’t guaranteed, of course, that your job share partners are going to work like the dream team. You could find yourself in a situation where there is a personality clash and your job share partners will just not gel.
As an employer, this could cause you some problems. One job sharer might complain that the other isn’t pulling their weight they are doing more than their fair share of the workload. One may have a strong personality and try to dominate the other into working in particular ways or bossing the partnership in other ways.
This could be a headache for you because you will need to manage the situation in a way that keeps both job sharers satisfied there is no favouritism.
Job share needs to be managed carefully so that other staff in the workplace don’t resent the situation and feel they are working harder than your job share partner team. A general culture in the workplace of flexible working and other staff perks could help to prevent this type of resentment.
If you don’t already have job share opportunities in your workplace, you could try the system it on a trial basis. The pros could far outweigh the cons, especially when you are looking to recruit young people who are looking for more flexible working opportunities. If you are seen to value staff who are looking for a healthy work life balance, this could tip the scales in your favour when you are trying to hook young talent.