Make job sharing effective with thorough preparation
When a dynamic duo comes to you with a request to share a job, ask them to do some work up front.
Job sharing (when two employees take responsibility for a single position in your organization) can be a good use of resources, but it can also be tricky to manage. Managers and employees may not realize what’s involved, and without a clear strategy, job sharing can end in confusion and failure.
When a dynamic duo comes to you with a request to share a job, ask them to do some work up front. Here’s what they should address:
• The replacement situation. Will you need to locate and train a replacement for one of the job-sharing employees? That may be an opportunity to bring new blood into your organization, but you’ll need a good assessment of the labor market to make a decision.
• Work schedules. Employees should have a schedule that shows you who will be in the workplace on specific days. This shows they understand your need for consistency in covering key tasks.
• Blueprints. Require a formal document outlining the plan for the arrangement. You can share it with your superiors and colleagues when discussing the idea and making your decision. It can also serve as a tool for other employees contemplating job sharing.
• HR input. Your employees should consult with your organization’s HR office about sharing jobs. The HR staff will be in a good position to know, for example, how difficult it would be to recruit a new employee if one or both of the would-be job sharers leave. They will also be able to help make decisions on compensation and benefits.
—Adapted from the Joan Lloyd at Work website
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