Supporting the reorganisation of the social service of a town

Initial situation

It is a social service that has grown organically to respond to new missions. His organisation was somewhat unbalanced with a head of department and deputies under pressure. There was also a lack of resources. However, the communal finances did not allow for an increase in these.

How it happened

After an in-depth study of all existing documents (e.g. specifications, function diagrams, assignment of tasks) and an in-depth discussion with the department’s management in order to draw the outlines of the approach, we met with all staff members in interviews or workshops in order to make a detailed assessment. This was carried out at different levels: identification of the specific and transversal missions of the different actors, definition of key activities and processes, search for sources of blockage and friction, assessment of the interactions within the service and with external partners as well as a clarification of their needs in terms of steering and autonomy. On the other hand, together with management and politicians, we have also defined the medium-term service challenges. These two parallel approaches enabled us to identify ways of working with management on an adaptation of the department’s organisation, taking into account the future prospects and the specific skills of each employee. In addition, certain processes/activities could be questioned, simplified or developed according to needs (e.g. computerisation of certain manual processes without added value). The objective was also to take advantage of the process to ensure that all activities were well-founded.

Result

The reorganisation was able to be finalised with the support of the staff without increasing staff resources. It has also made it possible to delegate more tasks and responsibilities to employees and thus reduce the burden on management. Six months after its implementation, the service is satisfied. Our partnership relationship with management and the dialogue established between management and employees have been important sources of success.

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