- For employees
A self-assessment may be useful for employees to consider the various aspects involved in ensuring a successful job sharing arrangement.
A Sample List of Issues to Consider when entering a Job Sharing Arrangement may be found
Example 1 – Shared Responsibility
The organisation's HR team will have to decide on an ideal strategy based on the combination of both business goals and employee needs, i.e. shared responsibility or divided responsibility.
|Employee A||Employee B|
Personal Assistant to
High level job grade
Many years of experience in the job position
Oversees and trains new Personal Assistants
Personal Assistant to Manager X
Junior level job grade
Fresh graduate with 1 year of experience
Under the Job Sharing arrangement, both Employees A & B would be personal assistants to the director. Employee A would work on Tuesday and Thursday while Employee B would work on Wednesday and Friday. To ensure a seamless transition and co-ordination of tasks, there would be an overlap on Monday when both employees come in to work to sort out the Director's schedule and activities for the week ahead. In the initial week(s), Employee A would oversee and train Employee B in her new role; while Employee B would train her replacement as the Personal Assistant to Manager X (i.e. previous post).
Example 2 – Divided Responsibility
|Employee C||Employee D|
Experienced Account Manager for S.E.A.
Supervise salesmen dealing with S.E.A.
Senior job grade
Experienced Account Manager for Singapore
Supervise salesmen dealing with Singapore clients
Senior job grade
Unlike Example 1 above where both jobs are on-going, Employees C and D's jobs are client-focused. Therefore, a strategy based on divided responsibility may be more appropriate for this instance. Under the job sharing arrangement, both Employees C & D would be Account Managers for S.E.A. Sales. Employee C would supervise salesmen dealing with Malaysian and Indonesian clients and work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Weeks 1 & 3, and on Tuesday and Thursday on Weeks 2 & 4. Employee D would supervise salesmen dealing with Thai and Vietnamese clients and work on Tuesday and Thursday on Weeks 1 & 3, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Weeks 2 & 4. In the initial week(s), Employee C would perform a handover of the Thai and Vietnamese portfolio while Employee D would train his replacement Account Manager for Singapore Sales (i.e. previous post). Although Employees C & D work quite independently in this example, they would still meet periodically (e.g. after their department meetings or individual meetings with supervisor, etc.) to discuss client needs and ensure that both groups of clients are receiving the same high quality of service.
A Sample Checklist on Issues to Consider before implementing Job Sharing can be found
As the number of hours worked may lead the employees to fall into the part-time work category, it is very important for the senior management to be aware of the statutory requirements and regulations set forth for part-time employment, before embarking on the prospective arrangements with employees.
Please refer to the Ministry of Manpower's
website for more details on employment regulations.
If the barriers to job sharing cannot be resolved, the organisation/employee may consider other types of flexible work arrangements.
The practice of job sharing is fairly new in Singapore, and organisations who adopt this practice may choose to draft informational handouts to inform employees of job share opportunities. Employers should include the objectives, eligibility criteria and desired outcomes of the job share arrangement.
Regular communication is essential to ensure the working dynamics between employees on the job sharing arrangement and their co-workers is positive. Therefore, department meetings should be scheduled on days where the employees overlap, where applicable. It is also important that job sharing teams on a shared responsibility strategy communicate frequently with each other.
A job sharer is required to communicate in a timely manner with clients of fellow job sharers. This is necessary so that the level of service to the clients can be maintained.
Characteristics of Successful Job Sharers
Employers should set clear and detailed job descriptions and guidelines for the new job share position.
- Individual traits
- Good communication skills
- Amicable personality
- Strong team player
- Loyal to the company
- Values job
- Job sharing team traits
- Similar positive personality traits, e.g. both are amicable, responsible, etc.
- Able to work both independently and in a group
- Complementary abilities and knowledge of product/service
- Complementary and consistent working habits/styles
- Similar or compatible grade level i.e. experience, seniority, etc.
Guidelines for two job sharers at the same grade level who are jointly responsible for all the duties and responsibilities of one full-time position:
Guidelines for two job sharers who are individually responsible for portions of the job, or when the job sharers are at different grade levels:
- There is no need to restructure position
- Each team member should have a copy of the original position description with an attached statement to show that the incumbent is a job sharer jointly responsible for carrying out all the duties and responsibilities of the position
- Separate position descriptions to reflect actual duties and responsibilities of each employee
- Have a position description that accurately reflects each job sharer's duties and responsibilities
A job share team should report to the same supervisor. If the new job scope is similar to their previous job scope, they should report to their previous supervisor who may have better understanding of the needs of the team.
The Role of Immediate Supervisors
Supervisors and co-workers play an important role in the dynamics in each job share team. Therefore, organisations should also consider providing training in work-life effectiveness for supervisors of job sharing employees.
The management should also discuss how vacations, absenteeism and sick leave may be covered. Questions to consider include:
- To what extent would the above be covered by another co-worker in the same department?
- To what extent would the above be covered by the fellow job sharer?
- What should the pay of job sharer(s) be for working on an off day?
A possible solution, especially in the case of absences not due to sickness, e.g. unpaid leave, might be getting a fellow job sharer to switch work days with the employee on leave.
Organisations are advised to set performance standards for each job sharing team to ensure performance is not compromised. They should also reward job sharers individually or as a team where appropriate.
- Individual Evaluation
- Specific role, e.g. training fellow job sharer
- Joint Evaluation
- For shared tasks and responsibilities to promote teamwork
Supervisors should use the same evaluation standards for each employee to avoid biasness in their evaluation.
Shared Space and Equipment
Where possible, job sharers should be given individual job stations and equipment, especially in instances of heavy client load or access to confidential/sensitive information. This will help to increase efficiency and reduce time spent searching for client files in a shared work space.
However, if space is an issue, the management should set strict guidelines for job sharers to respect shared space and equipment to maintain a positive team environment. It can also consider allowing telecommuting to reduce the need for a physical office station.