The Fourth Element: Workplace Partnership - Case studies

Here is a selection of recent case studies demonstrating the Fourth Element: Workplace Partnerships.  


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FloraHolland

  • Author: J Hoeve; AWVN
  • Publication Date:19-Mar-2013
  • Country: Austria
  • Type: Case Studies
  • Category: Structure and Systems,Workplace Partnership

Abstract

2012 - Royal Flora Holland is 'the flower auction of the world’, with annual sales of € 4 billion. Since 1911 FloraHolland brings together supply and demand of growers and buyers, in 200 countries now. FloraHolland is a cooperative service with more than 4,000 employees. The company has export auctions in Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk and Rijnsburg and auctions for the domestic market in Bleiswijk and Eelde. FloraHolland is a cooperation and owned by the growers.  In 2008 there was a big merger and 2009 was a tough year economically. So there was a lot of uncertainty among staff. The introduction of a uniform structure increased feelings of alienation.

Workplace Innovation 

FloraHolland wants to give follow up to the results of employees investigations by working with structured focus groups. There is established a private development program for managers, which aims to align the leadership style with the corporate culture. And there is started a pilot with narrowcasting: in the operational departments there are screens with information about what is happening in the company. Also there are implemented improvements in the HR organisation.

 Approach 

Together with executives and unions it was decided to hold soundboard sessions at all locations. The social manifesto is actively used as a guide to set a joint vision on industrial relations. Of the 4,000 employees, 200 participated in the talks. The company took part in the AWVN (the general employers association in the Netherlands) ‘manifestafette’- 2011-2012 . 

Results 

There are no results known yet.

IN DUTCH



 

Kesselaar & Zn, a Construction company

  • Author: Ben Kuiken; Syntens
  • Publication Date:20-Dec-2012
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Type: Case Studies
  • Category: Learning - Reflection - Innovation,Structure and Systems,Workplace Partnership

Abstract
The workplace innovation in this company concerned cooperation in the supply chain, personal development of staff and the implementation of new organisational forms.


Approach 
The process started when Kesselaar was a subcontractor still and was severely squeezed by the main contractor just like most of his colleagues. "I constantly experienced the arrogance of the contractors. Then they ordered, say, five masons for the next week, but just called them off on Friday afternoon because the breakers were not ready. So the whole week end I was calling to deploy those guys for the next week. So I said to the contractor, "Just call the destructor. Go and sit down and plan the work together. By doing that, we could reduce the time it takes to renovate a house from 25 to 10 days. Look, then you earn money immediately."
 But Kesselaar did a lot more. Together with his subcontractors he made a common and open budget. "I sat down with them and asked: what do you need to realize this job? So much material, so many hours, a healthy profit….; by naming everything and giving everyone what he needs, you avoid the discussion about money and everybody just works at the deliverable. That's what you want. Here we are not talking about money, we talk about the job we want to realize together. The client will get insight as well into the budget and can see exactly who earns what, doing this job. That saves a lot of hassle and provides significantly shorter lead times and lower failure costs."
 Furthermore Kesselaar tried to increase his involvement by stipulating with the contractor that he not only will finish the building but also is contracted for the maintenance. "Then you are talking, because then you no longer talk about the price of the building, but about the total costs. Thus we relieve the client totally." The staff got a lot of responsibility from Kesselaar. "For example, we don’t have a supervisor at the workplace. Why should you? The carpenter knows what he has to do, no controller is required.' No one at Kesselaar & Zn has a job description, because this limits people in their growth and performance, according to Kesselaar. "Take Nigel. Who was a carpenter, but he obtained a bachelor’s degree and is an very good calculator, now. Or Mike: 24 years old, who manages a project of two million on his own. That's wonderful!" To ensure that the mostly young employees learn a lot, Kesselaar has employed a few experienced men who are trained as a teacher. Besides the company does not work with fixed couples, but rotate the teams every fortnight. 

Results 
Last year there was 60% more sales with the same number of staff. The lead time had decreased; for example a renovation took 25 days and is now done in 10 days. There is a reduction of failure costs. Kesselaar & Sons won the Syntens price (Syntens is a public consultancy agency for SME’s) of Smartest Company of the Netherlands in 2012. 

Reference Interview
Syntens, Ben Kuiken: http://www.syntens.nl/socialeinnovatie/inspiratie/Kesselaar--zn-de-keten-op-zijn-kop.aspx 
The company’s website: www.kesselaarenzn.nl Video interview : http://vimeo.com/54201561



 

Partnership and Quality of Working Life at Nottingham City Hospital

  • Author: Rosemary Exton; Peter Totterdill
  • Publication Date:
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Type: Case Studies
  • Category: Public Policy,Workplace Partnership

Abstract
The study grows from the collaboration of the two authors in ‘Improving Working Lives’ (IWL), a UK government initiative to enhance quality of working life for staff in the National Health Service (NHS). IWL, especially in its implementation ‘on the ground’ demonstrates both the potential and limitations of centrally determined regulation as a means of stimulating organisational innovation and change. The case study is based on a reflective account of workplace innovation, combining the perspective of an active trade unionist and clinical midwife in the Hospital with that of a re-searcher concerned with dialogue-based organisational innovation. The study also draws on a review of current thinking about partnership undertaken as part of a UK WON project supported by the Department of Trade & Industry’s Partnership at Work Fund, involving interviews and dialogue seminars with several leading actors.


 

Lessons from Kaiser Permanente - Improving performance and engagement in healthcare

  • Author: Rosemary Exton
  • Publication Date:
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Type: Case Studies
  • Category: Social Partners,Workplace Partnership

Abstract
On 15th June representatives from Acas, the IPA, NHS Acute Trusts and PCTs, NHS Employers, Royal Colleges and Universities took part in a Workplace Innovation Workshop which focused on a question of key relevance to the future of healthcare: "how do you involve and engage NHS staff in ways that lead to tangible benefits in patient care and organisational performance?" Guest speaker John August (Executive Director, Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions) led a lively and informative discussion on how collaborative working relationships between management, unions and staff at US healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente create sustained improvements in quality of patient care.