Buurtzorg Familiehulp

New Buurtzorg organisation of self-managed home help teams, launched in Netherlands

Buurtzorg Familiehulp

In late November 2015  Jos de Blok, Buurtzorg founder, agreed to take over a failing Dutch company that provided domestic home help services.  Thousands of former employees are now working in the ‘Buurtzorg-way’;

  • in self-managing teams
  • with skills at the front of the service
  • focused on the client
  • and more attention to self-reliance.

Buurtzorg already successfully provides domestic support under its Buurtdiensten Neighbourhood Services and has found that the problem-solving capacity at the front-line, is very strong. The newly acquired organisation will operate under the name of FamilieHulp before it is merged with Buurtzorg’s regular domestic care services.

Self-directed re-organisation

Up until the last moment of the take-over, it was unclear how many employees or which localities would form FamilieHulp. There was no merger plan, blueprint or organizational chart. Several regional coordinators were appointed to assist the new employees in finding their way in the new organisation. Large numbers of employees were involved and the former organisation had to work with a completely different culture and value system.

In addition the former employees had to adjust to the process of Buurtzorg in a practical sense. Buurtzorg has easy systems online, for registering hours and distance for example, but some had  no experience or little confidence with computers.

Impact

Early indicators look good for the new teams.

De Jong a former Director nurse at TSN and now a FamilieHulp regional coordinator reflects on the FamilieHulp:

“It requires a certain motivation and plenty of enthusiasm. If you’d rather just make your hours and you feel more comfortable with a leadership above you, this way of working may not be appropriate for you. I am a regional coordinator,  I’m certainly not superior. I advise and support fourteen teams, they plan their own work, I get as close as I can. Sometimes I stay with the a while, but the intention is that I increasingly release them. “

Ria Dimmendaal is a team member in FamilieHulp, pleased with the new way of working;

“Yes, it’s a lot better, such a way of working pleases me. It keeps activity focused and saves costs. It took some getting used to, with all the differences in character, mentality and outlook on the work. You must really want to be here for the clients, but also for each other, for your colleagues. Meanwhile, we discuss all kinds of things openly as a team, even mistakes. “

Based on an article in Dutch magazine, ManagementSite Aug 2016  (Title translated) A self-directed reorganization? Does that exist? Home help workers TSN now in self-managing teams Familiehulp