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Knowledge Bank Workplace Innovation

Best practices and other information about Workplace Innovation and Smart Working

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  • Author: TNO; Beeuwkes, Jos;
  • Publication date: 14 June 2017
  • Date added: 14 June 2017

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Rating: Eelloo; selfmanaging teams and job crafting

Eelloo; selfmanaging teams and job crafting

2016 - 'Eelloo' is an enterprise that offers Consultancy, Human Resources and Assessment in Houten, the Netherlands. Eelloo currently employs 26 man and women in the Netherlands and 26 in Romania.

Eelloo is the new name for Meurs HRM since the mid-year 2016. Meurs HRM was started about thirty years ago as an enterprise that developed tests for recruitment, selection and career development.

Jos Beeuwkes conducted a case study of the company, then called Eelloo; below is a summary of that study. The report of this casestudy is attached. 

The workplace innovation

Self-managing teams work on four 'propositions'; a proposition is an offer to a customer group. The strategy of Eelloo is determined in the so-called ‘koers-overleggen’, meetings of the two owners together with representatives of the four propositions. This meeting also approves the team proposals on their annual result and plan of action. The composition of the teams is based on expertise, skills and interests of the candidates. The teams themselves do the planning and make appointments on working hours and task allocation. In a provisional project team around a specific customer demand, people from different teams may participate.

The employees are responsible for their employability and development. They can use an e-portfolio and feedback from colleagues. They are supported in this by HRM process managers, colleagues who have this as a special task. 

Drivers
During the recent crisis, sales and profit figures of (then still) Meurs HRM were getting lower. The staff did not see what happened to the customers. This was due to the fact that they worked in functional departments (Assessments, ICT, Consultancy) with all separate assignments for various clients so that they could not see all of the changes taking place in a customers’ organisation. They also communicated to each other too little about it. The offerings made by Meurs HRM did not match the clients demands very well.

For the two owners, this was a driver to implement a new customer-oriented structure and independent self-managing teams. They were also inspired by new organisational and management concepts, especially by Ricardo Semler's work. 

Approach

The organisational renewal was an initiative of the owners. Apparently the formation of the proposition teams did not cause many problems: "they just started." It is an ongoing process. Now the focus is on developing a system for mutual salary granting in the teams. The elements are clear, that is, the results of the team and of Eelloo as a whole (determining the salary space), the functioning of the person, his or her e-portfolio and the difficulty of the tasks taken by him or her. The assessment of these aspects by teammates determines which of the 3 salary scales somebody will enter. Investments in education and the like are deducted from the salary budget. 

Results
The involvement, goal orienting and cohesion of the employees have grown after the introduction of self-governing teams. Employees propose ideas about opportunities they see in the market. The number of sick leaves has decreased. 

Lessons learned

The key conditions for self-management are: trust between employees and between the various propositions as well as openness in feedback and communication.

The organisation should create a working climate in which employees want to be and dare to be proactive. Eelloo tries to do this by adapting the work to the qualities and personalities of the employees.

A prerequisite for success is that the staff knows well what the company stands for, who the customers are and what the organizational goals are. And the employees must be self-conscious about their own capabilities and interests. 

Reference

Beeuwkes, Jos. ‘Eelloo: zelfsturende teams en job crafting’, Casestudy, 2017 (done in the frame of a TNO internship). The report is attached.