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Enhanced employability thanks to self-rostering
Employees who are able to set their own work times are less likely to suffer from work-related stress. But how do you create this flexibility if employees are scheduled to work specific shift rosters? Sanquin was able to solve this problem by making it possible for employees to plan their own shifts (self-rostering).
Health and vitality are key issues for Sanquin. This non-profit organisation collects blood from blood donors, and it also wants to encourage the sustainable employability of its staff and be an attractive employer. In order to achieve these goals, amongst other things the organisation has introduced a system that makes it possible for its staff to decide when and where they work.
But the amount of flexibility is limited in some cases. For example, staff working in the bloodbank have to work at a specific location during fixed opening hours. To offer this group some degree of flexibility, the organisation decided to introduce self-rostering.
Sanquin called in Déhora for support
Sanquin wanted to start with a pilot for self-rostering first. “But how do we set up a pilot that actually meets the needs of our organisation? That was the problem we were facing,” explains Bianca Karssenberg, Programme Manager for Health and Vitality at Sanquin. That was when they decided to call in Déhora for help.
After discussing the options with the consultants of Déhora, Sanquin chose a system that would give the employees the maximum amount of freedom. Employees are given an open shift plan, which they can fill in collectively. Any gaps are filled in through consultation, and if necessary the roster planner can step in and make the final decision. Karssenberg: “This method is ideal: it means our staff now have much more freedom of choice.”
To make sure the pilot went smoothly, a working group was set up consisting of both managers and staff at the bloodbank. A steering group was also set up to monitor the planning and finances.
Together with Sanquin, the consultants of Déhora organised a number of focus days. During these sessions, the working group members formulated the rules for the pilot. The consultants guided this process and explained the advantages and disadvantages of the various options.
“Extremely productive,” says Karssenberg about the focus days. “They made sure we got the backing of the staff for the changes. By involving some of the staff in the process right from the beginning, they were able to explain what self-rostering was all about to the rest of the staff in a positive way.”
A workshop was organised for the staff about how the new method would work in practice, and Déhora also modified the existing shift planning software so it could be used for self-rostering. Finally, Déhora carried out a satisfaction survey amongst the staff using a questionnaire. The progress of the pilot could then be measured by comparing the findings of the survey with the baseline measurement.
Positive response to self-rostering
The pilot teams at the bloodbank started planning their own shift rosters in November 2016. The new rosters came into force on 1 January 2017.
The first results are already very promising. “One of the teams was very enthusiastic right from the start,” says Karssenberg. “This team managed to fill in the shift plan all by themselves without the help of the shift planer.”
Bianca Karssenberg, Programme Manager for Health and Vitality at Sanquin:
”The guidance we got in the focus days was really fantastic. Not only were the consultants of Déhora very knowledgeable, they also got the participants actively engaged and involved in the process. That was absolutely essential if we were to get the backing of the staff for the changes.”
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