From work pressure to work happiness

The Homeless Desk of the Municipality of The Hague provides assistance to the homeless, and due to the high urgency of their work, the team experiences high levels of work pressure. The goal was to establish a new service concept at a new location (driven by hospitality) with the aim of increasing the quality of service and improving the job satisfaction and working conditions of the employees. It is crucial that these improvements are sustainable and lead to lasting change.

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Wies van den Berg - Manager Expertise Center

"Our team is now able to implement improvements based on insights from data. There is a sense of shared responsibility within the teams, resulting in tangible outcomes"


Highberg operates on the principle of showing, participating, and allowing individuals to do things themselves. After laying the foundation for continuous improvement to achieve sustainable results, the focus shifts to implementing improvements based on facts and figures. The goal is to build the service from the ground up and enhance employee job satisfaction. The challenge focused on:

1. Governance: establishing a continuous improvement structure with daily check-ins, check-outs, weekly kick-offs, and a improvement board based on facts and figures.

2. Process: designing an efficient process from walk-in to the counter in co-creation with the team, aligning with the new service concept.

3. Behavior: coaching team leaders and employees on the desired new behavior for continuous improvement.

4. Leadership: clarifying roles and responsibilities.


The emphasis in our approach is on participation and allowing individuals to take initiative. We focused on the following deliverables:

  • Implementing the continuous improvement methodology: instilling discipline in a fixed meeting structure and adjusting leadership and coaching behaviors.
  • Realizing improvements in the work process: addressing proactive caseload management using the Kaizen Method and setting up an experiment for intensive monitoring of families.
  • Governance based on data and information: designing dashboards and steering information (including determining KPIs) and ensuring that leaders use the dashboards for guidance.

Mariëlle van Tilburg - Consultant

"A socially relevant project, where we achieved great results together with the colleagues from the Homeless Desk: I am proud of that."


Employee satisfaction (MTV) has sustainably increased by +28% in Energy, +65% in working conditions, +13% in noticeable improvement, and +45% in personal influence on improvements. Additionally, absenteeism has decreased by 4.4% in 6 months, partly due to the significant increase in the maturity of team leaders.

Wait times have been reduced, and through proactive caseload management with a focus on intake, progression, and exit, the processing times for the homeless have decreased by 24%. Overall customer experience has improved as well (based on qualitative input).

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