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Round Table Talk "Successful New Ways of Working for Local Government"

27 october 2016

Thursday, October 20th, CfPB initiated a round table talk about the introduction of New Ways of Working. We hoped to use this event to gauge (a) whether local governments would gain from a structured mutual exchange of knowledge on introducing New Ways of Working and (b) the potential of a research program charting how local governments introduce New Ways of Working.

Eight municipalities participated in the (exploratory) event. It seems that the issues at play are indeed similar for many municipalities. All participating municipalities but one were in the process of introducing New Ways of Working. S, and some even  had a limited version in use already. In general, people were still a bit unsure on how to proceed. Issues included the following:

  • There frequently is no clear vision on the reasons New Ways of Working are being introduced, making it difficult to get people on board;
  • How far can you take the flex-ratio/concept? Employees should still feel welcome;
  • Who will participate and who won’t? How will exceptions work? Are they allowed? When? Many people consider themselves an exception;
  • How to keep availability and accessibility from becoming problems;
  • Improving cooperation is important to municipalities. How do you make it happen?
  • Which approach to New Ways of Working is the most effective, top-down or bottom-up?
  • Using consultants, yes or no?
  • If it isn’t working, do you invest in bricks and bytes, or in behavior?

Besides charting the issues, success factors and tips were also exchanged. For example, a who-what-where app is very handy; decorating meeting spaces to feel welcoming works well; file systems that transcend individual departments help support New Ways of Working; and it’s better to have one overarching New Way of Working than multiple HR variants.

The participants considered it a useful event. There’s plenty to be learned from one another. If a follow-up is organized, more municipalities should be involved, successful  early adopters in particular. Their approach is likely to be very instructive. People would also like to leave with more answers in future. This time, the net result was even more questions.