In a job share, two or more employees share a single position, each working a fraction of the necessary time. Job sharing allows employees to hold a position and still have time to spend with children or take care of other family responsibilities. A full-time employee might be allowed to shift to part-time—either as part of a job share or simply as a reduction in working hours—and still continue in the same position. This shift can be temporary or permanent.
benefit to employers
Increases net worth
Increases retention, reducing turnover costs Increases job satisfaction
benefit to families
Increases job satisfaction
Provides more time to meet family needs
case study: Medica
Job share gives new moms flexibility, Medica continuity
When two Medica employees who had the same role wanted to job share, the company allowed the shift. Similar to many companies today, Medica is concerned about employee retention. Allowing the women, who had both recently had babies, to share the role, the company kept their historical knowledge and expertise.
“It costs 1.5 times to replace an employee,” said Lisa Stahnke, senior director, Total Rewards & Talent at Medica. “If we can keep that talent by being flexible, we benefit. Continuity in relationships, particularly in certain roles like account management, is critical. Turnover can reflect poorly on our organization.”
Given the current staffing situation, Stahnke thinks companies will need to be more open to workplace flexibility.
“We’re finding that we need to be more creative in how we fill a role,” said Stahnke. “Job sharing won’t work for all jobs, but we’re considering whether a role could be filled by two people part time. If we have a really loyal employee, who doesn’t want to work full time, we could be enticed to find another 20-hour person to complete the role.”
Employees at Medica are still eligible for benefits at 20 hours, which is a critical factor to many employees, Stahnke finds. Job shares only work with people who are on the same team, doing the same job. If someone has a job that no one else has, then a job share isn’t realistic, from Stahnke’s experience. It can be more work for the manager, and clear communication is critical to success.
“Ultimately, we want to have healthy, mentally stable employees who are fully engaged employees, and they can only be that way if their life is in control and they’re feeling like they’re being a good parent,” said Stahnke. “Our culture is very important to our CEO John Naylor. We talk a lot about work-life balance.”
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
How to Make a Job Sharing Situation Work (hbr.org)
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