Self-rostering at OCMW Deinze

Karel Picqué, a residential care center in Deinze, adopted self-rostering in order to meet demand from employees wanting more influence on their work scheduled. The solution was found to be a win-win, as employee-driven work scheduled helped achieve improved patient care outcomes while simultaneously having a positive impact on employees' personal and social lives.

Better work-life balance

With their notoriously heavy workloads, balancing work and family life is a constant challenge for healthcare staff. Aiming to promote employee participation, involvement, and overall well-being, the Karel Picqué residential care centre in Deinze implemented self-rostering to give its employees the opportunity to plan their own work roster. Having more control over their schedules led to increased satisfaction and engagement and reduced susceptibility to burnout among employees. These positive effects of self-rostering translate directly into improved patient care.


Efficient schedules and shifts

Self-rostering also takes a big burden off the head nurse, who usually makes the rosters. The layout of cyclical schedules can be quite complicated and time-consuming, as the head nurse balances ensuring the right number of staff on the floor with striving to grant employees’ individual preferences and expectations. A significant amount of time goes to putting out fires and adjusting schedules, and very little of the initial cyclical work schedules remained intact at Karel Picqué.

Koen Dierick, General Director of Residential Care, said: “We were looking for a way to schedule staff in a healthy and flexible manner, where everyone has the same influence and opportunities to obtain a fair and balanced work schedule, and staff are mainly present when necessary for care. We happened to end up on a study day (DOT care), where we were introduced to Déhora and self-rostering. ”

Fair share

With self-rostering, employees are largely given the freedom to choose when they work. Of course, required work remains the most important deciding factor when it comes to work schedules. For the OCMW, this factor means ensuring it deploys the right number of employees at the right time. The organisation has also ensured that there is no difference between weekdays and weekends within the healthcare sector. Self-rostering takes place in a number of phases to ensure every employee is scheduled fairly, and that the ‘best’ shifts aren’t simply given to the most influential employees. The final roster is completed by the head nurses, who bear final responsibility for the schedule. Following the implementation of self-rostering, staff ended up working their preferred schedule 80-90% of the time, while the centre continued to maintain required capacity at all times.

“The biggest change is in the vision, people now look at when they want to come to work, while in the past they mainly looked at when they wanted to be at home. Due to the fact that employees themselves have more say in their working hours, we’ve noticed that they prefer to come to work. This enthusiasm extends to the workplace and therefore also to the residents. Because happy employees make for happy residents ”, says Koen Dierick.