Behind the front door: An approach for multi-problem families in the city of Enschede
Velve Lindehof is a neighborhood in Enschede with a high degree of socio-economic problems. It was selected as a "krachtwijk" (Neighborhood to be improved) with lots of multi-problem families. The multi-problem families are faced with many (government) bodies which all visited these families in their home settings – all working independently from one another. Sometimes, some 17 different agencies were working with these families. There was no integrated approach to multi-problem families.
The University of Twente summarizes the problem in their interim evaluation of the experiment in Velve-Lindehof as follows: "In recent decades, the range of assistance and services has grown steadily and has been accompanied by specialization to target groups, methods and phases within work processes. A patchwork of chains, sectors, institutions, programs, projects and projects has been created with different funding streams and multiple ministries responsible. A typical family could be ‘cared for’ by five to ten case managers, all of which regularly visited the family at their home.
Employee Engagement without a “Strategy”
Two very different organisations, a UK construction company and a Belgian automotive supplier have succeeded in achieving high levels of employee engagement without a formal "Engagement Strategy". Each has achieved significant change through experimentation and learning, backed by sustained senior management effort without any kind of “best practice” guidelines. Both companies will take part in the forthcoming Workplace Innovation conference on leadership for an engaged workforce2, providing an effective demonstration of the power of engagement in securing a sustainable future in a period of economic uncertainty.
Employee Resilience in Times of Change: Participation and Well-being during Mergers and Restructuring - Hempel
The introduction of self-managing groups in Hempel Denmark resulted in greater flexibility and less waste. Further cost savings were made by greater responsibility being given to the individual employees, making the role of some middle managers superfluous.
The company’s statement ‘Hempel – more than just a workplace’ has been used as the basis in this case study for looking more closely at how such a slogan is implemented in the company’s development and how it influences the everyday lives of the employees.
The Employee Engagement Network: Visit to Specsavers Contact Centre, Nottingham
Employee engagement challenges faced by Specsavers Contact Centre included a high change environment, a lower engagement level from long tenured members of staff, repetitive work and a target driven culture. Investment in engagement focusing on employee development, improving the working environment, creating a supportive culture and recognition of effort has achieved a financial return in terms of enhanced business performance.
Specsavers’ vision as an employer is to “treat people as we would want to be treated ourselves” and to support staff to be the best they can be. A sense of partnership with staff is “at the heart of everything we do” as is giving something back to local communities. The key message is “keep it simple, get it done and deliver on our promises.”
Vulcano: A Culture of Improvement Supports Continuous Change
When Vulcano, a leading Portugal-based water heater manufacturer, wanted to implement changes in the workplace, it turned to the Bosch Production System (BPS) which strives to combine enhanced innovation and production capabilities. Its aim is “to increase customer satisfaction and value contribution through overall improvement of quality, delivery and costs” and one of its attractions lies its claim to be deliverable in diverse national contexts. Vulcano’s objectives were to integrate management of the value chain; reduce waste; make all the processes simpler, clear and more flexible; and involve all employees, in order to surpass customer’s expectations and improve the company’s profitability.
Using the BPS model of developing and delivering the right part, at the right time, in the right amount and with the required quality, Vulcano aimed to:
- know what employees regularly needed in their daily work, what they only needed sporadically and what they didn’t need at all;
- ensure that regularly needed objects should be as close as possible to the work area, and the ones that are not needed should be removed as quickly as possible.
The changes they introduced were based on three factors:
- Production and work arrangements (restructuring production and efficiency processes, business re-engineering, flexible work arrangements, greater integration among functional lines, and decentralization).
- Human resources (management practices, flexible job design, employee involvement, and improving employees’ skills).
- Products/services (quality-related practices, total quality management and improving coordination with customers/suppliers).
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