Written by Sophie Smallwood
The majority of people are aware of the advantages of job sharing for employees - flexibility, career advancement, consistency, having a companion on the front lines, and so on. The part that seems to stump them is the business benefit. It's sometimes true that the most obvious things are overlooked. So let's get down to business about the unseen benefits of job sharing for companies.
Business resilience / preserve social ecosystem
Job sharing has several advantages for businesses, including the ability to withstand a changing climate of employee demands for flexibility. By 2027, 50% of the workforce will be freelance, according to projections. "The desire for belonging isn't only beneficial for workers. Companies want employees who are also invested in the company's culture and future. Job sharing allows companies to keep and pass on knowledge by leveraging the social capital of two part-timers," says Sophie Smallwood, co-Founder of Roleshare - a platform helping companies retain talent by matching employees who want more flexibility to share full-time jobs together, or with freelancers and fractional workers.
Accelerate onboarding / training
If one team member of a job share leaves, the company has preserved information, utility skills, and the social ecoysystem and relationships critical to the role's success through the other team member. There's also a self-healing process in place - the person who remains in the position will accelerate onboarding, training, and knowledge transfer for his or her new job share partner.
Promotable talent / collaborative team players
Job sharers are collaborative team players who consciously sublimate ego for the sake of the partnership, the job, and their balanced lives. They have numerous soft skills that employers look for in outstanding employees and leaders.
1:1 accountability / better quality output
Who cleans house before guests arrive? It’s the same with job share partners. They are measured together so the 1:1 accountability, means each partner ups their individual game because they know their partner will have full visibility. The healthy peer pressure leaves no room for slack. And guess what - managers end up being more hands off because the pair manages itself! Dr. Shelagh Muir, who shares the role of VP Research and Development at Unilever with Jane Maciver, says “it brings a real business benefit in terms of the quality of the solution.”
More productivity / enhanced capacity
According to a UK study, job sharers are 30% more productive than any other way of working. Because they work fewer days and then hand over the task, their energy levels and focus on days worked is also higher. Consider Olympic relay runners. They also bring more skills and experience to the position, giving it greater capacity. Where one might have shortcomings; the other adds power.
Peer-to-peer learning / talent development
Job sharing offers a rich environment for peer-to-peer learning and talent development because no two people are alike. Job share partners are able to tap into each other's talents and stretch their own growth possibilities.
Recruitment / hiring cost savings / diversity
Job sharing saves the company money because it reduces hiring costs through retention. You don’t have to train twice as many new employees - saving valuable resources. And lastly but not least importantly your job sharers lead by example for diversity and inclusion!!!
Grow revenue / satisfied customers
Job sharing allows the business to get more done because there are two people who can take on your client or projects. It means you will have a team to manage accounts together and get more output or quality while doing it. The job share culture also produces satisfied customers because they will always be able to reach one person and get very personalized service, and that spells better retention rates and referrals.
Robust skillsets / complementary experience
Job share partners are not just good at what they do, but have excellent flow between responsibilities. You don’t have a gap if one partner takes time off for illness or vacation etc. They can depend on each other to cover because it’s a true partnership. And yes, they bring different areas of expertise and complementary problem-solving skills to the pairing - both always thinking outside of the box!
Creative solutions / innovation / critical thinking
The thing about smart team mates is you end up with exponential brain power. When you pair bright minds, you get critical thinking that transcends the sum of both parts. People are more willing to take risks knowing there is someone there to catch them, and many a time you get a much more creative solution when two people brainstorm an issue or problem. Hannah Hall-Turner and Rachel Maguire who were co-Directors in HR at CBRE and founders of The Job Share Pair, say "Our role share has truly allowed for diversity of thought, which has enabled us to be more innovative in our joint approach, benefitting our stakeholders, team and organisation."
Aging workforce / retiring baby boomers
Longevity is increasing exponentially; retirement age will continue to rise. Job sharing offers a superlative environment for aging workers who want to stay engaged with meaningful work, or just need flexible hours that can be adjusted by operational need. The job sharing model allows these mature members of our society to remain active.
Job share allows for flexibility, yet it also helps businesses develop cross-generational peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Consider an example of an elderly employee taking expertise and wisdom from a younger peer who can pass on useful skills to the aging worker during their retirement years. And the older peer can share his or her knowledge with the younger one to ensure long-term succession.
So why is this not offered in every organization?