In many sectors, such as industry, the planner has a traditional role: being responsible for the day-to-day scheduling, often arranging leave and being responsible for resolving matters as they crop up, such as illness and shift changes. Many organisations with a strong shift culture are characterised by short lines between staff and planner. It is often the case that the planner himself works in the shift and does the scheduling ‘on the side’. In many cases, these shifts crews have worked alongside one another for years and there is a strong bond between staff and planner. When organisations change over to a new method such as self-rostering, the role of the planner within the organisation changes dramatically.
Self-rostering consists of three phases. In the first phase, employees fill in the schedule as they wish. In the second phase, the employees must iron out any discrepancies among themselves (i.e. resolve any understaffing or overstaffing issues). Only in the third phase does the planner actively assign or remove shifts to or from employees if the schedule fails to meet the relevant staffing requirements. Changing shifts requires objectivity and the planner sometimes needs to make tough choices (for example, who to choose when a shift remains open). This is possible by maintaining an ‘objective list’ that tracks how much under and overstaffing someone has resolved in phase 2 of the process. This allows for an objective decision to made about who can be assigned the open shift (if this is possible within the framework of the Working Hours Act).
In the case of self-rostering, the planner transitions from being an operational planner to a tactical planner: the planner is engaged with capacity issues, optimising staffing requirements, various types of contracts and implementing an efficient scheduling process.
Furthermore, he focuses on specific tasks aimed at keeping the self-rostering process successful: assisting employees in the second phase in which they can move their shifts around to avoid any discrepancies in the schedule. It is essential that the planner stimulates employees as much as possible to change around shifts themselves. If employees encounter problems doing this, it is vital that the planner offers further assistance. This can be through face-to-face guidance, but also by organising group sessions. However, if a planner continues performing his task in the traditional way and continues to make scheduling changes for the workers, the workers will not be sufficiently stimulated to assume responsibility for the schedule themselves.
Déhora can offer support in this process in two ways. First, by guiding and advising the planner(s) in the transition from the current method to self-rostering. Second, Déhora’s Planning Service Center has staff able to assume responsibility for the self-rostering process in phase three at your organisation. This will make it easier to make objective decisions on assigning shifts.
Also thinking about adopting self-rostering? Feel free to contact us!
In many organisations, the planner plays a pivotal role which is often underrated. This is because planning involves more than simply ‘drawing up a schedule’. In practice, many employees unexpectedly find themselves working as planners.
More and more the unions are remommending employers to work on the flexibility and sustainability of employees. Self-rostering can be an excellent solution.