In our last blog post, we looked at the advantages and disadvantages. In recent years, the demand for part-time management positions has risen continuously. Companies are in constant competition for qualified workers and therefore have to adapt to their requirements.
The introduction of part-time management is an innovative approach that fundamentally changes the way we understand leadership. But how do you convince sceptical managers of this concept? Firstly, it is important to highlight the advantages and disadvantages. You can read about these in the first part of this blog series. With the disadvantages identified, it is crucial to develop individualised solutions. In addition, certain personal and organisational requirements must be met.
The demands on part-time managers are high. Part-time managers need strong self-management skills and the ability to react flexibly to different situations. Due to the high workload, it is important to prioritise tasks quickly and efficiently. Resource management also plays an important role in this context.
A crucial personal requirement for a part-time manager is the ability to delegate tasks. This is extremely important, as they cannot manage all tasks on their own. This requires a high degree of trust in the employees’ abilities. A stable basis of trust between the team and the part-time manager is therefore essential.
The five-factor model, also known as the Big Five, is used to analyse the dimensions of extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness and openness to experience. Research results show that these personality traits have a major influence on leadership success. If two managers share a management position in the form of top sharing, a high level of the “agreeableness” dimension plays a role. Compatibility is particularly relevant due to the numerous coordination and interactions that are required in this form of leadership. Moreover, the top-sharing model only works if both partners are able to deal with conflict. It is ideal if the top-sharing partners have already worked together in the past and know each other well. In general, extraversion and conscientiousness have a positive effect on leadership success.
The implementation of part-time management positions can disrupt established work processes and requires persuasion, as several people are affected by these changes. In order to defuse conflicts from the start, experts recommend sensitive change management. In particular, the corporate culture, structure and strategy influence the success of part-time management.
Corporate culture plays a key role in the introduction of part-time management. It has a major impact on employees and determines what leads to success in a company. There is often no place for part-time leadership in outdated role perceptions, as leadership is equated with constant availability and presence. For part-time leadership to have a chance within an organisation, the corporate culture must be analysed in order to identify and remove potential obstacles. Part-time management positions require a corporate culture that is characterised by trust and flexibility, in which new things are simply tried out and which does not cling too strongly to habits.
Company structure and strategy
The implementation of part-time management positions affects workplace structures and work processes. Flexibility becomes the key word, both in terms of the place of work and the working hours. With job-sharing models in particular, it is important to clarify responsibilities and establish clear communication channels. It is also advisable to create a flexible, transparent and, if possible, decentralised structure in the company with a high degree of employee autonomy. When introducing part-time management positions, the direct superiors of part-time managers are particularly challenged. Spontaneous coordination is made more difficult by the increased absence from the workplace and requires more precise planning. Regular work meetings are therefore very important. Communication within the company must be streamlined to ensure that the part-time manager can make optimum use of their attendance time. Making appointments, which is often already difficult for full-time managers, is made even more difficult by the part-time situation. Consistent disclosure of the attendance times of a part-time manager is absolutely essential. In addition, the part-time manager should be flexible with the agreed times and be available in emergencies. In this context, the self-management of managers is also important.
The tasks of the part-time position are also reduced and thus redistributed. It is important that management functions are never relinquished. In addition, the tasks are not only passed on, but the area of responsibility should also be expanded, or the position upgraded. It is important that managers consciously promote autonomy and personal responsibility in the team. To do this, a part-time manager needs employees who have a high level of maturity and can take on responsibility.
It can be stated that the implementation of part-time management goes hand in hand with numerous changes in the organisation and places demands on managers, employees and the part-time managers themselves. Nevertheless, part-time management should be seen as a significant development opportunity for the entire organisation.
Article written by: Sophia Dielacher, CFR Global Executive Search Austria
Pictures: TRESCON, shutterstock