The Flexi-Team helps advance top priority political projects, which could not have been implemented with the currently available staff. The team supports all divisions of the ministry that have temporary staff shortages due to absences or unfilled positions, or due to short-term projects. Furthermore, the Flexi-Team promotes a more flexible work environment in the ministry e.g. by establishing the use of modern knowledge management methods and by offering support in creative design processes.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

One of the main ideas that lead to the development of the Flexi-Team was the insight that unmet demand for human resources has a negative impact on job satisfaction and health of the staff. The Flexi-Team aims to address these needs and, at the same time, improve working conditions. Thus, the concept for the Flexi-Team includes aspects that entice highly qualified and motivated personnel.

The Flexi-Team was established in June 2017 and currently consists of eleven team members. As one division of central directorate-general in Germany’s Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Flexi-Team provides services to the entire ministry in three broad domains:

1. The main task of the Flexi-Team is to give rapid response to temporary mismatches between workload and available staff in any division of the ministry. The Flexi-Team alleviates temporary staff shortages or temporary additional staffing demand by assigning its team members to the divisions in need for a duration of generally three to nine months. Shortages of staff can arise because employees are severely ill or on parental leave, or because positions are temporarily unfilled. An assignment of a Flexi-Team member can also be justified in order to start top-priority political projects immediately, before the relevant division receives the additionally required staff (usually at the start of the following budget year). In order to obtain temporary support from the Flexi-Team, the division in need has to justify the need for support by filling in a simple form. According to the availability of a team member and the priority of the staff shortage, the support mission can start within less than one week.

2. All members of the Flexi-Team were trained as coaches to facilitate well-structured, effective and efficient job handovers. Whenever job handovers take place, the division concerned can apply for support in the knowledge transfer process. A member of the Flexi-Team accompanies the process by moderating two or three sessions, at which the outgoing and the incoming employee take part.

3. In addition, the Flexi-Team works as a role model for future-oriented working environments and collaboration. The team members use latest IT solutions, flexible working conditions and share technical experience gained through their support assignments. Thus, during support assignments, team members further spread best practice examples throughout the ministry. Moreover, having a broad overview of all policy areas covered by the ministry, Flexi-Team members can be consulted as discussion partners in projects or creative design processes. By doing so, newly developed ideas in policy or law making receive feedback from highly qualified employees, who have a broad overview of the ministry’s policy areas without being expert in the specific area at stake.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2017
Level of government: National/Federal government


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