One of the most common pushbacks for job sharing comes from middle management and their fear of the unknown.
I recently sat down for a chat with the super talented Michelle Redfern, founder of Thrive Consulting and partner in the Lighthouse Group and asked her to share her insights on managing a job share team.
Did you have any initial concerns managing a job share team for the first time?
In the beginning I was a little bit concerned about the way it was going to work, fortunately, the job share team had an awesome people leader who did a great job of advocating for the team and selling the benefits.
What did you see as the main advantages of having a job share team?
One of the previous challenges for the project was that it was a cross functional team, spread all over the place.
Communication and collaboration were missing, as was visible leadership.
My job share team were critical in bringing that back and being able to have face time with their many team members and stakeholders.
What were your biggest challenges managing a job share team?
Honestly nothing from my perspective! It was an awesome experience and one I talk about all the time.
I think the challenges were from leaders who, like me, hadn’t been exposed to how successful job sharing can be and what a difference it can make.
So what are Michelle’s top five job share tips:
1. Everyone needs to be clear about expectations – on both sides.
So a ‘sit down’ at the commencement of the arrangement to map out how things will work is essential.
2. No two people are the same.
Whilst job-share partners have a shared skill set, their individual strengths, traits and preferences, allow them to work in the elements of the role that play to their strengths.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
I had a ‘huddle’ with both of my job share partners on the cross-over day each week to ensure we were all on track, checked in on expectations, etc.
4. Ensure that the job share team have a support network.
Being able to have a think tank and talk to others who work in a similar way is a great way to ensure that your job share team are supported and they have opportunities to learn and evolve from others wins and challenges.
5. Leaders of job share teams must advocate.
I talk about this experience to anyone who will listen, it’s a game changer for the future of work, and the race for top talent.
Job sharing is for everyone who wants the flexibility and wants their career to advance and be successful, not stalled because they are job sharing or working flexibly.