nederlands
english

Knowledge Bank Workplace Innovation

Best practices and other information about Workplace Innovation and Smart Working

Back to start

Properties

  • Author: TNO; Beeuwkes, Jos;
  • Publication date: 8 June 2017
  • Date added: 8 June 2017

Downloads

Share

Actions

Rating:
Rating: MEE & de Wering; Self managing teams and jobcrafting

MEE & de Wering; Self managing teams and jobcrafting

2016 - MEE & de Wering is an organisation delivering welfare in the north of the Dutch province North Holland. This organisation was formed on January 1th, 2016 after a merger of three organisations in the region. MEE & de Wering employs app. 330 people. With the help of a large number of volunteers, they offer client support (welfare, social services and disability care) to vulnerable residents, especially those with mental disabilities.

Mid-2016, Jos Beeuwkes had interviews with some employees and an Research Manager. He made a case report (Beeuwkes, 2017). That is summarized below. 

The workplace innovation

At the time of this research, Mee & de Wering, just started the change process in the work organisation: to integral service providing by multidisciplinary and self-managing teams. There is (still) a certain degree of hierarchy: a Management Team (MT) and 4 Region Managers (RM). The RM writes the annual plans for the teams in his or her region, sets out the organisational framework, allocates space and resources and makes team performance agreements. The team itself set up the task list and divides the tasks among its members. The team reports to the RM and he or she can attend the team meetings. The RM holds individual performance talks. 

Drivers
The merger was started because of the need to provide better and more efficient client support through economies of scale and more effective use of expertise. The introduction of integrated services by multidisciplinary teams is a logic consequence. Already in the summer of 2015 and inspired by the success of Buurtzorg NL, de Wering (one of the later merger partners), started with the introduction of self-managing teams. In the merged MEE & de Wering this was continued. 

Approach
At de Wering, the MT decided to introduce self-managing teams. This decision has been discussed with the works council, but this council has not actively participated in the execution of the decision. In August 2015, two trainings were given to de Wering staff about co-operation in teams. After the merger the MT of the new organisation decided to introduce integrated services and multidisciplinary self-managing teams. Because not all teams could pick up the new process quickly, it was decided to implement self-managing teams step by step. At the time of this research MEE & de Wering is in the middle of this change process towards self-management.

Not all employees show immediately enthusiastic about self-management (and/or about "change again!"). Especially employees with a long employment state are keen to have clear assignments from the line, do not know how to handle new responsibilities or find it difficult to work with colleagues with a different discipline. The RMs have an important task to support the teams in their development. Those employees who really do not want to change, leave the organisation.

The organisation does not stimulate professional development and development of team skills through training and courses. 

Results

The interviewees indicate that the integrated services have a positive effect on the effectiveness of the teams and on the care they can give to the clients. The teams are not yet self-managing in all respects. On the other hand the RM now has more insight into what all teams are doing and can therefore better support and correct them. In addition, according to the interviewed RM, staff involvement has grown and employees take more responsibility for their own time management. The interviewees say that meanwhile most colleagues are convinced of the positive sides self-managing. They like the increased responsibility and involvement in the organisation and in the business and have more fun in their work. 

Lessons learned

With better communication and more input from the staff more enthusiasm for the changes might have been urged and perhaps less resistance. The limited self-managing is still accepted or even appreciated. The change process must take account of tempo differences between teams. 

Reference

Beeuwkes, Jos. ‘Stichting MEE & de Wering: zelfsturende teams en job crafting’. 2017,

Casestudy in the frame of an internship at TNO. The case study, in Dutch, is attached.