Participative organisation charts at GPSEA

Written by Émilie Agnoux, on 13 February 2019

On January 1st, 2016, the communities of Plaine Centrale du Val-de-Marne, Haut Val-de-Marne, Plateau Briard, and the City of Bonneuil-sur-Marne were merged to form a Territorial Public Establishment (EPT): "Grand Paris Sud Est Avenir" (GPSEA). A new territory comprising 16 municipalities spread over 99.84 km2, with over 313,000 inhabitants and approximately 1200 employees... How to create a common culture and a distinctive territorial identity on the scale of Greater Paris?

Passionate about managerial innovation and convinced that administrations must also transform themselves, Fabien Tastet, the General Director of Services of GPSEA, proposes to create this new inter-municipal organization in a participatory manner...

How? The first step is to involve the employees in the development of the overall organization chart.

Everyone is invited to participate, to give their opinion regardless of their profession or rank, on the organization of the various services and departments.

"It is very difficult to evolve administrations. Have you heard that too? As a civil servant myself, I can tell you, it's not entirely untrue. But it's no more or less true than in the private sector." - Emilie Agnoux, Director of Transformation and Social Dialogue at GPSEA

Several means are implemented to gather proposals: a dedicated email inbox, physical suggestion boxes placed in the services, thematic working groups organized by managers with their teams or initiated by the employees themselves, a management seminar...

The General Directorate of Services of GPSEA then reviews the various proposals submitted. Each proposal receives a response in the "Proposal Counter," a table listing all the ideas proposed and shared with all services, in full transparency.

Result: 620 proposals were submitted by employees, with 38% being accepted.

Among the ideas accepted, some allow for a thorough rethink of the administration's organization: appointing a single HR contact for each employee, creating an innovation department...

After this successful experience with the overall organization chart, the participatory approach is extended to the design of the organization charts for all departments.

Over three years, participation gradually becomes entrenched in the Territory's culture. Managers appropriate it and bring it to life on a daily basis within their teams through various initiatives.

"Building a new municipality in the transformed institutional universe of Greater Paris is a great adventure, which offers the opportunity to invent a unique way of living and working together for the men and women of the public service." - Fabien Tastet, General Director of EPT Services within GPSEA

For example, participatory budgets (in addition to existing budgets) are gradually implemented within the technical departments, with employees voting to prioritize actions to improve working conditions: renovation of premises, more ergonomic equipment... The new premises occupied by the employees also undergo participatory layout of new workspaces (reception, meeting rooms, social spaces...) during relocations resulting from the consolidation of certain services... Everything is designed to meet the needs of the activity and enable collective functioning.

Thanks to a comprehensive approach to managerial innovation, the creation of GPSEA has enabled the public service to gain agility and efficiency, as well as quality in the services provided to users, including the extension of urban cleanliness services, networking of public libraries, and increasing the number of territorial development projects (business zones, business incubators, etc.)...

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