Part-time is an interesting concept and yet another term which is open to interpretation. More often than not, we find that part-time is in fact a 4 day week, requiring a "most-of-the-time" commitment, to deliver the same full-time output, in four days and to be paid pro-rata.
Full of gratitude "for the opportunity", the employee increases productivity initially and is often available, or catching up to minimize a break in continuity on the other, but is this a sustainable approach? The reality is that employers need to deliver full-time continuity to stakeholders, especially in certain role types or levels, in these cases it's unrealistic to scale a role down from full-time and this can ultimately lead to a lose-lose situation as the output expectation isn't adjusted to match the availability to deliver. Or the employee's request to work flexibly is simply rejected.
Many of the partnerships I have encountered have progressed to Job-sharing from part-time, because in working part-time as an individual, they experienced:
burn out from trying to shoe-horn a full-time role into four days
A Talent Partnership approach to Job-sharing involves a commitment from candidates that have requested to work part-time, to work together to deliver the role with full-time continuity. The expectation of continuity from a Talent Partnership and the ownership of the approach, is what differentiates it from simply employing two part-time individuals. Where a role can scale down, part-time is great. Where it can't scale down, offer the option for employees to pitch a partnership approach for their full-time role.
This expectation means encouraging the partnership to create and execute their own communication plan in order to function effectively. This has many positive side effects, such as inherent accountability to (and support from) each other, improved knowledge creation, business continuity with an effective handover and increased energy knowing they can trust their partner on their non working days. Performed successfully, these inherent traits of a functioning Talent Partnership means they are more productive than full-time individuals.
During their time as Directors of Strategy for the Department of BIS, I interviewed Ruth Hannant and Polly Payne about their experience as a successful Talent Partnership, their partnership took on the capacity of around 1.7 FTE for the cost of 1.2 FTE. So clearly their employer gained the skills, experience, commitment and energy of two talented professionals. I asked what benefits they got from being in the partnership:
“Being accountable to your Job-share partner keeps you focused and honest”
If you’d like to view the interview clip where Polly and Ruth, Directors of Strategy share their reasons for choosing to Job-share, it’s available at https://www.ginibee.com/videobank.html
Ginibee specialises in helping companies to implement successful Talent Partnerships, whether that's an individual case or a company-wide scheme. Sign up here to get started with an Ambassador account, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
Sara is the founder and CEO of Ginibee and a proud mum of two legends. Absolutely passionate about making successful Job sharing accessible, Sara set Ginibee up with the sole mission of "making successful Job sharing accessible" and has specialised in optimising and similifying the process to create successful Job shares since 2013 and in doing so has created a unique into a purpose-built platform, to accelerate the creation of Talent Partnerships.