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3 tips to enable successful job sharing

 Job sharing: could it be a new, vibrant facet of the ‘sharing economy’? An economy that is not only about sharing goods but full-time jobs between people? An increasing number of people are taking up and enjoying the benefits of this working arrangement*.

Three Sisters Group dug a little deeper into the growing job sharing trend. We interviewed  Veronica and Deena – some real-life job sharers – to find out about their experience and learnings from over 18 months of sharing a demanding role at a local council.

Despite our knowledge of the benefits to the organisation and the employee of flexible working arrangements, we were still surprised at just how positive and rewarding the experience has been for them. In fact, the intergenerational nature of their arrangement has made it even more so. Veronica is energised by Deena’s “fresh” and “exciting” initiatives and new ways of doing things. While Deena appreciates the wealth of knowledge, established relationships and political know-how that Veronica brings to the table.

From our interview, we  identified three tips** we believe are more widely applicable to employers, HR, hiring managers and anyone else with an interest in providing more flexible options, such as job sharing, to their workforce.

No.1: Know your strengths and personalities

One thing’s for sure: Veronica and Deena didn’t just walk blindly into job sharing. At the outset, they did their due diligence to ensure their strengths complemented each other. In addition, considering their big personalities, they tested the waters to establish they were actually compatible when it came to working together.

What also benefited them both was being able to relate to each other at a personal level. As Veronica put it:

“Deena is the same age as one of my daughters. And then having a baby at around the time my children are having our grandchildren. So there was a connection there around people we care for personally.”

No. 2: Maintain open and honest communication

Veronica and Deena have often found that having each other to talk to provides a different perspective. It can often lead to a more efficient and effective approach to a project or solving a problem. In particular, it can be useful when resolving conflicts that arise.

To ensure the ongoing success of their working relationship, Veronica and Deena have a review process. This provides a forum through which they can speak openly and honestly about their working relationship, voice concerns, and discuss how they could do things differently in future. In ways that work for both of them.

“If we come up against challenges, we find out the reason it isn’t working and do it differently.”

They’ve also realised the importance of having ownership over certain tasks and projects to the sustainability of their job share arrangement. Ultimately, this is only possible by committing to regular communication to keep each other across what the other is working on.

“We don’t work on many tasks together. We have our own portfolios, which works really well.”

No. 3: Ensure HR support

Veronica and Deena are lucky enough to have a HR Department that recognises the benefits of job sharing and flexibility. As a result, they have been very supportive of Veronica and Deena’s arrangement. This has made it easier for them to negotiate hours and responsibilities that suit them.

The key to successful job sharing and for its wider replication in other organisations, is acknowledging the positive impact flexible work arrangements have on organisational productivity. Not to mention the huge opportunities this creates for more people to remain at work.


Three Sisters Group supports organisations to transform and optimise their performance by creating workplace strategies inclusive of people all ages. We recently released a video on the benefits of age inclusion and our Founder and CEO Catherine Rickwood recently did a TEDx talk on why retirement is redundant. We’re on the cusp of an age revolution at work. Call Three Sisters Group today to find out more about how we can help your organisation, including through our survey on retirement, ageing and work.


*Job sharing is an arrangement where two or more employees share the demands of a job that traditionally one person working full-time undertakes.

**If you’re interested in learning more about how to make job sharing work, check out this article from Harvard. We’ve also written more on the topic of the future of work here and here.

 

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Three Sisters Group’s read, watch and listen holiday list

The festive holiday season is well and truly upon us.  Amongst all the hustle and bustle, planning and preparations, we hope you’re able to find time for some rest and reflection. With this in mind, we’ve put together the Three Sisters Group ‘Read, Watch and Listen List’. This is our pick of some of the books, movies, shows, and podcasts that we’ve enjoyed throughout the year, as well as some old favourites. So, whichever medium you find most relaxing, sit back, relax and enjoy one or more of these masterpieces.

And if you were wondering – they’re not all about ageing! In fact, each deals with an individual theme central to the human condition.

Read

  1. ‘Daring Greatly’ – by Brene Brown
  2. ‘Wisdom at Work’ – by Chip Conley
  3. ‘The 100 Year Life’ – by Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott
  4. ‘The Longevity Economy’ – by Joseph Coughlin
  5. This Chair Rocks’ – by Ashton Applewhite

Then there’s also my old favourite – Atul Gawande’s ‘Being Mortal’.

Watch

  1. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  2. Still Mine
  3. Grace & Frankie (available on Netflix)
  4. The Intern
  5. Still Alice

And of course, there’s Catherine’s TEDx talk on why retirement is redundant – now available on YouTube.

Listen

  1. How I work – by Amantha Imber, CEO Quantium
  2. Revisionist history – by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Don’t stop us now – by Claire Hatton & Greta Thomas
  4. Better off dead – by Andrew Denton
  5. Akimbo – by Seth Godin

Finally…

Three Sisters Group will be taking some time out over the Christmas and New Year’s break. So until the new year…

We wish you, your friends, family, and loved ones a holiday break filled with love, laughter, joy, and kindness. We look forward to sharing with you more of our findings and insights on our longer lives (and what they mean for people and organisations) in 2019.

And for those who will be staying active on social media, as always, there will be an ongoing stream of the latest research and developments on the TSG Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

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Three Sisters Group works with organisations to transform and optimise their business strategies by providing insights on the over 50s and smashing age stereotypes.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your over-50s strategy for 2019.

 

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Photo by Khachik Simonian on Unsplash