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As authentic as Grolsch: Wish rostering as a flexible work schedule in order to improve work-life balance at Grolsch

Veltman, A.M. (2010) As authentic as Grolsch: Wish rostering as a flexible work schedule in order to improve work-life balance at Grolsch.

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Abstract:Due to an ageing workforce, a growing desire of employees to balance work-life arises. At the same time, for companies a better match in capacity planning is needed. Flexible work schedules might be a solution to both challenges. In 2008 Grolsch had a feasibility study to explore the possibilities of introducing flexible work schedules within the IT&M department of the company. It indicated a number of possibilities to introduce such a schedule, which should be investigated by starting up a pilot first. Therefore the main question for this research is: “What is a suitable design of a flexible work schedule at the IT&M department of Royal Grolsch and what are the effects of the implementation of such a design?” The first part of this research will focus on the required conditions for an organization to introduce such a flexible work schedule. The focus lies on individual scheduling as a means to adjust to both employer and employee needs. Methodology Most of the data collection during the research was done by literature review and interviews (primary data) with forklift drivers, team leaders and management. Also a questionnaire was developed for both forklift drivers and team leaders to evaluate the pilot in the end. Results From the findings of both literature and interviews with the different stakeholders different scenarios were elaborated to come to the best suitable design for Grolsch. The process characteristics (drivers, process dependency & working schedules) and organizational conditions (size of group, diversity, culture & time and budget) of Grolsch were taken into account in these different scenarios and the final scenarios were compared by the different stakeholders. The scenarios had different criteria (insight management, workload team leaders and forklift drivers, amount of change, participation, social and economic flexibility & support of current practices/processes) on which they were scored. After comparison the wish rostering-design was chosen by the stakeholders. The main reason for this was that forklift drivers and team leaders did not prefer a lot of change. Besides that it was an important wish of the management that every employee should participate in the pilot. In this wish-rostering design Grolsch was able to test the possibilities of flexible scheduling within restrictions that suit all stakeholders. Grolsch introduced the new flexible schedule in a pilot, with a length of 9 months. In the wish rostering-design forklift drivers had to submit their preferences a month in advance according to some boundaries. They were allowed to make a maximum of two changes during one week. The forklift drivers are not guaranteed that they will get the desirable shift, but team leaders will strive for that shift. Next to that there will be no discount on the team surcharge. Finally, a point system was created to give everyone equal chances for corresponding wishes. Effective use of wish rostering The results of the first months of the pilot show that just a few employees prefer changes in their basic schedule. The changes that occurred could be realized within the roster by moving employees to the desired shifts and to fill in the basic schedule of that employee with a temporary worker. As authentic as Grolsch: Wish rostering as a flexible work schedule in order to improve work-life balance at Grolsch 5 Analysis of the capacity fulfillment showed that every day is different. Sometimes employees could stop working a few hours earlier and sometimes they had to work exactly their shift times. It seems hard to move shifts and spare a forklift driver that way. Furthermore it seems hard to move shifts during the day. The production works in same shifts as the IT&M department most of the time. Mostly the work that has to be done at the IT&M-department is a reaction to the chain before them, the production-department. It frequently happens that some IT&M workers can stop working before the end of the shift, but this cannot be predicted in advance. At last there were no recurring phenomenon’s that went wrong every week (or day). Since the pilot is still running at this time, it is not evaluated to date. The outcomes of the pilot will be evaluated at the end of the pilot, using a format developed within the project. Therefore tools for evaluating absence, efficiency and the satisfaction of stakeholders were developed. Most of the answers towards these aspects can be found by distributing a survey among workers and team leaders; in addition, data on absence can be collected by inspecting the planning schedule. Conclusions Participation of everyone in the pilot was taken care of, but fewer workers than expected really submitted other preferences than their basic schedule. Grolsch however was able to test the possibilities of flexible scheduling within restrictions that suit all stakeholders. This experience the stakeholders get by implementation of the wish rostering-system can create more support among forklift drivers (tested negatively in the study of Van Aard, 2008) and also the applicability for both forklift drivers and team leaders can be improved by participating in the pilot. At this moment the most suitable design for Grolsch is a wish rostering-system in which forklift drivers of the IT&M-department can submit their preferences beforehand. Team leaders take into account these wishes in order to improve the work-life balance of the forklift drivers. Because the wish-rostering system does not require much extra work for the IT&Mdepartment and the work-life balance improves for some forklift drivers it is recommended that Grolsch should implement wish rostering definitive. Further points of attention could be: an investigation towards the technical planning to improve efficiency from an organization-perspective, better communication with buyers to come to a more efficient planning and improved internal communication. Next to that Grolsch could introduce flexible work schedules at other departments as conditions and/or characteristics needs solutions that cannot be found within their regular way of scheduling.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Grolsche Bierbouwerij Nederland B.V.
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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