The 7 success factors of selfrostering

Self-scheduling offers many advantages for employers and employees. That is nothing new. But to start with self-scheduling is not something you just do. It involves many fundamental parts of an organization and its planning processes. These include capacity planning, labour productivity, staffing requirements and working hours. Are you considering self-scheduling? To help you, we give you the 7 factors for successful implementation of self-scheduling. At Déhora we think that these guidelines are the key to real success.

The implementation of self-scheduling has a significant impact on your organization. It is also not a solution for every organization. For example, your employees need to have something to choose from. And, it should match with how work is organised within your organisation. On the other hand, self-scheduling works at more places than you think. In short, there are a number of considerations to make before you can get off to a good start.

We’ve summarised them for you in 7 success factors:


  • Employees have to understand and want it.
  • There really has to be something to choose from.
  • Employees (almost) do the same job.
  • The game rules are clear and can be evaluated objectively.
  • Everyone is treated equally and given the same options.
  • Management delegates the responsibility for the right schedule to employees.
  • Management remains responsible staffing requirements.
  1. Employees have understand and want it.

Self-scheduling is most likely to be successful if there is something to improve. If employees already get exactly the working hours they want, they will probably not see the benefits of self-scheduling. And, it helps when your employees would like more flexibility. Also the employer should explain well, why the organisation itself needs more flexibility. Understanding how it works and commitment are more important than you think!


  1. There really has to be something to choose from.

With self-scheduling, it is important that employees have (sufficient) options for variation in working hours. In principle, the wider the organisations’ operating times compared to contract hours, the more choices there are. Self-scheduling works best for a group of 7 to 100 employees, with differences in age and experience. This makes them more likely to have various work time preferences.


  1. Employees (almost) do the same job.

Self-scheduling works best in departments with not to many different skill sets. Ideally, your employees are largely ‘interchangeable’. Obviously not as a human being, but in terms of knowledge, abilities and competences.


  1. The game rules are clear and can be evaluated objectively.

It is crucial for the success of self-scheduling that employer and employees together set the rules of the game. This creates mutual trust. And trust is the basis of self-scheduling. In order for the group responsibility to work properly, it should be clear which group member’s turn it is for a working time adjustment. That this is done in a fair way, is the responsibility of the employer.


  1. Everyone is treated equally and given the same opportunities

Self-scheduling means that 80 to 90% of working time preferences are fulfilled. To fill the last gaps, concessions sometimes have to be made. It is important to make this very clear in advance. Furthermore, it is important to treat everyone equally. This way, it doesn’t matter if you are first or last with submitting your preferences. No exceptions are made for colleagues who would like to see this differently.


  1. Management delegates the responsibility for the right schedule to employees.

Self-scheduling is more than a change in your planning or planning process. Employees are given the right to determine their own working hours. As a result, the responsibility to meet the occupancy requirements and finetuning of working time is shared. As management, you need the guts to let go of control.


  1. Management remains responsible for staffing requirements

The management determines (based on the work offer) how many employees are needed on a given hour or day. The better this is done, the bigger the advantage that you as an employer will get from self-scheduling.


Get started?

Would you like to find out more about the possibilities and challenges for your company of self-scheduling? A self-scheduling scan or pilot organised by Déhora can be the way to do this. We also provide trainings about self-scheduling. Even if you are still looking into the flexibilisation of work time in general, we are happy to make time for you. Contact us without strings attached for more information about self-scheduling or working time flexibility.