Development of tailored, individual plans
A small youth welfare organisation, providing social support services for troubled young people, found that its workers aged over 50 were regularly absent or out of work on long-term sick leave. In a bid to retain these experienced workers, a pilot project was set up aiming to their roles were re-designed using a participatory approach.
The programme specifically targeted workers aged over 50 and who were frequently absent or who had been absent for a long period of time. Workers who volunteered to take part had a detailed in-depth discussion with their supervisor (using specially-developed templates) to identify the good and bad aspects of their role. Together with HR, they developed new role descriptions more appropriate to their abilities and received on-the-job training. Workers who enjoyed the social aspect of their role, for example, took on the client-facing roles, while others focused more on planning or security.
Of the six employees who took part, five returned to work in a new role they had tailored in cooperation with HR. Moreover, the absence rates among workers reduced by 48%. With employees focusing on the aspects of the jobs they liked, overall worker motivation increased significantly, and so did the clients’ experience of the service.