Self-scheduling, we hear it more and more in the market. What is it exactly? And what can it do for your organisation? What are the preconditions to successfully implement the concept of self-scheduling? This article aims to provide an answer to all these questions. Please contact us if you require more information.

    What is self-scheduling?

    Opinions are divided. Self-scheduling is a “hot” term in various industries; healthcare, client contact environments and, since the arrival of Het Nieuwe Werken (the New Way of Working), also in government environments. The most profound interpretation of self-scheduling is best described as: no more planners needed; every one determines their own schedule (in consultation with colleagues) and availability will be guaranteed; employees are responsible for occupancy.

    Of course a lot of nuances can be made with respect to this definition, the principle will remain that employees have a tighter grip on their own working hours and have a collective responsibility to arrange occupancy. There are examples of organisations that facilitate this with “sign in schedules” or a points system where employees can choose their own working hours as every service has a certain number of points and the employee has to achieve a maximum number of points. It goes without saying that the number of points is defined by the organisation and difficult situations or times are monitored and guided (“otherwise no one will work on Friday afternoon”, is an often heard sentence). Another method is setting up a schedule that shows how many employees are needed at what times. Here the “first come, first serve” principle applies, though bottle necks in the schedule still have to be solved by the team itself or by a planner by way of “overruling”.

    What is required for successful implementation?

    There are numerous limiting factors that may mean self-scheduling will not workfor your organisation; Working hours Decree, “the old school employees”, the Works Council, IT, etcetera etcetera.. We are convinced that self-scheduling (at least parts of it) can be implemented in principle. But it is impossible to illustrate in detail the required preconditions are for your organisation that will give you the desired effect. In this respect every organisation to unique. You will largely have to make a plan that takes the structure and the culture of your organisation into account.

    Which impact does this structural change have on my culture? How much freedom do I give to my people and how do I ensure that it is used in the right way? What tools do I have, or what do I need to facilitate in this process? Who is responsible for what in this process, which KPIs are part of that? Be sure to prepare a VERI-matrix, or RACI-matrix, in which for these KPIs are established for all staff involved that are responsible for, ultimately responsible for, consulting on and informing the process. It often pays off to start with a pilot/testing environment and gradually increase support among both the staff, as well the management and Works Council.

    What can self-scheduling do for our organisation?

    We recommend that you think about and investigate what contribution the flexibility of your schedule and increasing employee responsibility will mean for your organisation. Obvious objectives are; employee satisfaction, a unique selling point in recruiting new staff, more flexibility or costs reduction in your WFM organisation. If you know the impact, you can work out what you need to make this a success (begin with the end result in mind). Opinions about self-scheduling are divided; people say it only works in small organisations where the team members trust each other and in this way feel a shared responsibility to arrange the schedule; still there are examples in the market where these preconditions do not appear to be necessary. knows the market and has considered many ways and experienced how employees can influence their working hours. The way this could be implemented in your organisation is often a phased approach where a transition is required in terms of the process, tooling and culture. We would be happy to help you to make self-scheduling into a success. Self-scheduling: more freedom, more responsibility, stronger ties with your people; isn’t this what you want?