In 2020, it was proven that workers don’t have to be in an office full-time to be productive and trustworthy employees. So why would the job sharing case be much different? How can staff convince their employers to continue with the flexible workforce revolution and let them work in job sharing?
To help, here is our step-by-step guide to help employees communicate the business case for a job or top share work with their current employer, including expert guidance from our team at Sharing Tribe, plus advice from workers who successfully advocated for a job share within their own organizations.
1. Find an advocate
The first step is to identify the right person(s) within your organization to support your request.
Choose someone with the power to make decisions who is familiar with your performance. This will typically be your manager or an HR partner.
If you think there might be a bigger need for a remote or hybrid policy across the company, you can also start an employee resource group (community) focused on job and top sharing. Ask the colleagues who are already job sharing to join you and be your ambassadors.
2. Come with facts
Don’t have the conversation without facts on your side.
Create a presentation, and listed out all possible concerns they might have and how you could mitigate them.
Be flexible and collaborative in the conversation and bring strong evidence to back up your request.
3. Understand what drives your company
Research workforce trends to help your company stay competitive in hiring.
The current biggest trends are around a war for talents and talent retention, which reflect the opportunities and advantages of job sharing.
Start by bringing the data to the table and ask your hiring managers if they agree that this was the future. Also, ask them if they agree that offering flexibility as a perk would make your company more competitive in hiring and retaining talents. We are sure they will agree!
You will have great success if you start at a macro level with the trends and bring it down in a funnel to you as an individual and your personal interest in job sharing.
4. Emphasize the business value
It can be helpful to talk about your future at the company and what impact you can make.
Explain that the best way you can make that impact is to have more flexibility because of what it offers you mentally, emotionally, and practically.
5. Appeal to their human side
In some cases, a human argument might be the best way to persuade your employer.
If you feel comfortable doing so, tell your employer why it’s important for you as an individual to work remotely.
Perhaps the flexibility helps you to spend more time with your children. Depending on the situation and your relationship with your boss, a human argument might get them to approve your request.
6. Know the data
There is plentiful data available showing job sharing can increase employee productivity and happiness and is cheaper for employers. Use these studies to make your case.
Additionally, most employers care about retention because it is so expensive to hire and train new staff.
According to Gallup: “The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary.”
If you’re a valued team member with a lot of domain expertise, it can be worth it for your employer to reach a compromise.
7. Offer a contingency agreement
Reassure your employer by offering a contingency plan if you or your job sharing partner become unhappy with your collaboration and job sharing.
Say during your presentation: “This is an experiment. If at any point you or we think this arrangement is not working, we will end it without any hard feelings.“ That will make them feel better about it.
8. Create a plan to make job sharing work
Seal the deal by establishing how you will successfully work together. Agree to a schedule to mitigate any concerns.
Make a plan that your manager can formally approve and set clear expectations for your shared role. This will help you demonstrate that regardless of where and when you’re working, you’re able to meet your goals.
9. Remove all doubt about job sharing
We know job sharing work is possible and productive. If your employer remains hesitant, ask questions and bring the conversation back to your proven knowledge and success as a job sharer before.
Mention how well you were able to collaborate with your peers, managers, and team members.
10. Know when to look for something new
Unfortunately, not all companies will be ready to let employees remain in job sharing arrangements.
If strict rules don’t match what you want in your life and career, it might be time to seek out another opportunity.
The good news is, that 66% of employers plan to increase remote and flexible options.
If you value flexibility and being able to work in a job or top sharing, you have the power to make it happen.