65% of Pets at Home's workforce are women, but the company was experiencing high attrition rates among these employees. After identifying that a lack of flexibility in managment roles was a key factor the pets retailer introduced two new job designs.
Pets at Home, the UK’s largest pets retailer, employs over 8,000 store-based colleagues of whom 65% are women. The company is growing fast and is a highly regarded brand, having won many awards as an employer of choice. Pets at Home wanted to understand why their attrition rates for women were high. Flexible working specialists Timewise invited the views of groups of female frontline colleagues, store and general managers, and promotion candidates at different job levels. What they found was that, while many women do stay and move within the company, the ratio of men moving off the shop floor into assistant manager roles was double that of women.
- Work out how the responsibilities will be shared and the tasks divided. For example, rota planning might happen on a Monday and team meetings on a Friday, and unless these routines can be changed, the tasks will fall to the manager in work on those days
- Decide how working days and shifts are split between the job-sharers, and whether these patterns are fixed or variable, for example monthly or quarterly
- Jobshare partners don’t necessarily need to know each other before they start working together if the arrangement is designed well, and it is clear that they are jointly responsible for hitting performance targets and managing their teams.
- Handovers are critical and job-sharers must have good communication skills – both between each other and with their teams.
- The line manager of the jobshare partnership needs to be clear about how to manage performance.
Vicky Hill, Head of People, Pets at Home
Juliet Botur and Emma Harris, Job-share Store Managers, Rawtenstall
Kate Williams, People and Engagement Manager, Pets at Home