AAA – Individual Project
AAA – Individual Project
AAA – Individual Project
The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model is a collection of several strategies that form the benchmark for the examination of an institution. Its vital principles are the presence of enthusiastic leadership as well as systems to manage an entity. Since its inception in 1989, it has assisted various organizations to improve their performance through education, networking and mutual sharing of experiences (Ahrens, 2012). Thus, it offers recognition to participants who raise their operation standards to those ascribed in its charter. Similarly, the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) was established in 1997 by HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai as a mechanism to instill efficiency in the civil service. As part of its mission, it seeks to develop excellence models, assess the public sector workers and reward employees who accomplish the program’s goals. Furthermore, it places different concepts into various categories with an emphasis on IT and the environment. Consequently, it identifies customer surveys, employee reviews and mystery shopping by examiners as the measures to be undertaken in analyzing if individuals are motivated and committed to their jobs. However, it also cites ignorance and illiteracy as some of the challenges. Nevertheless, DGEP earned the distinction of becoming the first global government to integrate EFQM in its excellence criteria and this has enabled it to transform the civil service into an efficient workforce.
Overview of Dubai Government Excellence Award (DGEP)
The DGEP was established to promote creativity, quality and professional administration of government functions. Its integral principle is to implement advanced working methods in different public institutions. Thus, it is divided into two main categories-organizational and employee based. In the organizational excellence award division, the program seeks to reward the most distinguished government department and agency based on their facilitation of customer enquiries and processing of forms meant to authorize specific claims depending on the requests made. For example, it examines the procedure that a ministry follows from the moment a citizen serves a notice of registration to the lands department and tracks the movement of the file to the point the approval is made and forwarded to the individual. Similarly, the distinguished e-government department is an award that recognizes the public sector that adequately installs IT equipment. Moreover, it gauges the installation of digital appliances in the working environment and compares the duration that customers have to take before their needs are met. As such, it measures the uptake of modern communication devices as well as the level of connectivity with other state parties and private firms.
Likewise, the distinguished government initiative is designed to be an incentive for any entity, which makes a sound proposal that improves the image of the administration. Consequently, the model identifies the distinguished government team as the group of ministries that display exemplary teamwork abilities in conducting complimentary activities. Whereas the distinguished government technical project highlights the existence of a profitable development plan that raises Dubai’s profile in the world, the distinguished government joint project offers prominence to any viable venture that results from a collaborative effort among public agencies (Roy & Ong, 2011). In particular, this award is a measure of how streamlined the various government agencies are in cooperating to fulfill their mandates. The best results in customer satisfaction is another honor bestowed on bureaus that have a wonderful customer experience in which clients are attended to in a timely, respectable and transparent manner. The best results in employee satisfaction addresses the comfort of the work place environment by recommending a robust but caring corporate culture in which workers are not harassed. Rather, the settings should be appealing, professional and cater to their welfare. The distinguished government financial performance award promotes good governance and prudent use of allocated resources as well to reduce government expenditure while increasing service delivery to the people.
In the employee excellence categories, the distinguished government employee identifies a departmental staff member who is the most productive and a high achiever of the assigned responsibilities. This individual has to be consistent in accomplishments and serve as a role model for other colleagues. The distinguished financial employee is one who is the best in handling monetary policies while the distinguished administrative employee award is given to any worker who is brilliant in management duties. However, this prize is not limited to senior executives only. Rather, even clerical staff is eligible. The distinguished technical/engineering employee is a preserve of the skilled workforce and it is intended to increase competition among engineers in the type of projects they design and construct (Gupte, 2011). In fact, they are meant to commission stylish buildings that offer a unique landscape of Dubai to attract attention that is more global and tourists. Consequently, the distinguished field employee is gifted to personnel who excel in their outdoor assignments. It was included due to the hardships and challenges such as harsh weather conditions that such people face while carrying out their responsibilities.
Moreover, the DGEP contains provisions in which people with disabilities are covered. This is accomplished under the distinguished specialized employee that celebrates their determination and hard work despite them being handicapped. Therefore, it is an illustration of the government’s commitment to reduce discrimination among its staff. The distinguished female employee is another indicator about Dubai’s commitment to the progression of women especially in a region that is known for their suppression. Hence, this award encourages women to seek gainful employment and to strive to have the best performance in their workstations. Such acts as gender balance within the administration are lauded by many people due to the powerful message that they send to many young people. Similarly, the distinguished new employee classification singles out freshmen workers who apply their talents decisively and effectively thereby contributing to the success of their departments. Thus, it motivates recruits to be beneficial to colleagues and the institutions where they work.
In addition, the officials who administer the awards always provide each department with a report that indicates their strengths and makes recommendations of how to improve in their weaknesses. Nevertheless, transparency and innovation are the most emphasized. Risk, health and environmental management qualities have been added as well to enhance the work ethic of the employees in these sectors. DGEP has also increased financial monitoring mechanisms, which tend to reduce corruption while its additional scrutiny of administrative areas has led to a decline in bribery. The level of transparency is also improved by the signing of performance contracts that dictate certain developmental stages that have to be met at specified periods for the employees to earn their salaries. Consequently, the government organizes workshops in which awareness is created about the targets to be achieved. This can either be formal meetings or through informal means. At such forums, assurances are sought from departmental representatives about their commitment to the DGEP goals in their respective jurisdictions. Periodic reviews and assessments are also done to make relevant modifications of the systems that align the model to current practices. This program also acts as a guide to different ministries that seek assistance in governance thereby ensuring uniformity in the public service (Oxford Business Group, 2007). Operating under The Executive Council, DGEP is positioning Dubai as a center of excellence that is largely focused on customer relations. It has formulated various communication techniques that collect their feedback, which is then studied and changes made in the operations of different departments. By so doing, citizens learn that they are valued while government workers internalize their role as servants too. Whereas it is compulsory for governmental departments to participate in this program, semi-governmental ones can do so voluntarily. Knowledge sharing is encouraged because it allows them to exchange ideas as well.
The DGEP model can be used to promote employee creativity through the creation of an incentive scheme that rewards innovative ideas. Such an environment enhances their thinking capacities since they are motivated to initiate unique creations for monetary compensation and adoption of their perspectives (Mackenzie, 2010). This can be done through pegging salary increments and promotions to innovation. While this is a tangible prize, intangible ones like getting the chance to be congratulated in front of peers can also be used to achieve this purpose. Similarly, the creation of a diverse team is instrumental in developing various mindsets. These groups should include people with minimum connection to each other, hail from different backgrounds and varied but exceptional technical skills. These members will be eager to learn from one another and will have productive brainstorming sessions. Consequently, deadlines are vital to keep them motivated to attain their goals too. The workplace environment has to be physically spacious to enhance the mood for creativity as well. As such, regular breaks should be allowed during working hours for workers to visit designated relaxation breaks to exchange ideas before returning to their stations. This creates a positive attitude that spurs people to have innovative thoughts. Likewise, members of staff need to be allowed to use technological advancements such as online networking sites to boost their interaction with other societies whereupon they can discover new materials. Resources should also be made available to support innovative efforts since this would be a signal to the workers that the leadership is serious about such an undertaking. Thus, the budget will help to cater for the necessary requirements to make this mission successful. For example, the Environment Agency was able to pull experts from various departments to form a core group that oversaw the design and implementation of a waste management system for the projects undertaken by different departments.
Making employees available is a strategy that can endear them to their customers. In particular, clients would prefer face-to-face interaction because it offers them an excellent opportunity to have their needs met and clarifications made. Hence, absenteeism should be prohibited at all costs. Furthermore, the different departments need to be committed to educate their clients on the standard modes of operations of these units. Such behavior empowers them, shows genuine concern to facilitate service delivery, and helps to build loyalty as well. Thus, effort must be made to gain customer feedback that should then be acted upon and modifications made to regain the trust of clients (Cochran, 2006). Social media should be embraced as well to extend the interaction of employees with customers since such relationships lead to an increase in customer satisfaction. Members of staff need to be encouraged to conduct follow up activities even after solving the problems of their clients because these gestures increase the chances of the institution having repeat customers too. Promotions can also be initiated especially as a reward to customers having the longest interaction with the government organization. In anticipation of a rise in telephone call traffic during peak seasons, call center hours should be extended even if employees will have to work in shifts. This would prove that the institution is reliable to members of the public as the latter can access information. Likewise, making charitable donations as a form of corporate social responsibility would be another technique to increase the brand’s visibility in the community. For example, the Environment Agency conducted community awareness campaigns within the neighborhoods to sensitize people on its operations while also collecting feedback on what can be done to improve the quality of life of its citizens. This was done to gain their trust and to form relationships that understand the needs of their clients for better service delivery.
Transparency and Accountability
External auditors can be hired to conduct forensic searches of financial transactions within the institution to enable the workers be accountable for all funds given to them. As such, these experts should be granted access to all records and any other support required an extensive exploration to be done. The revelations too should be made public without any alterations. Moreover, the bank signatories should be few and known individuals to simplify the hunt for liable officials when malpractices occur. The political goodwill should be created not to censor whistle blowing since this criticism promotes reforms that are beneficial to the state and the citizens alike. In fact, intimidation and coercive tactics have to be banned for this to be a reality. An honest update of past, present and future projects has to be done as well to keep the public informed on the progress of vital developmental plans (Canals, 2010). It even makes it possible for customers to contribute. A policy should be adopted that stipulates all expenses to be accompanied by their respective receipts to limit the temptation of making unauthorized expenses with the firm’s money. For example, the Environment Agency organized several consultative meetings with its employees in which they were updated on the progress of various projects. During these forums, the workers were also questioned about the challenges they faced and assurances were made on these were to be addressed. Likewise, members of staff were required to sign a Code of Conduct that was linked to their performance evaluation. Moreover, officials at this organization met private developers and local government entities to create policies on subterranean water management and air quality among others. They also presented audited results of their activities for scrutiny to act as a guide on the areas that needed to be prioritized. As such, the agency became accountable for its actions to the stakeholders and instilled a moral work ethic among its labor force. Thus, it enhanced its social capital with the electorate and the employees increased their output too.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Dubai is one of the most metropolitan cities in the Middle East and has become a financial hub for many local and international businesses. Consequently, its multicultural setting has led to the demand for international standards of governance and other aspects of daily life. Having realized this, the government of the emirate under the leadership of HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum developed a strategy to streamline the civil service and improve delivery of services to its inhabitants. The DGEP is a comprehensive program that creates a point of reference for excellence in vital state institutions. Its principle of rewarding good performance at both the organizational and individual level has created an overhaul of the system and changed the attitude of employees towards their jobs. As such, progress is continually monitored to ensure that different government departments fulfill their mandate of utilizing state budgets in priority areas within a working environment that nurtures talent and supports career advancement. Mechanisms have also been set up to address customer complaints through transparent discussions aimed at resolving conflicts constructively. Similarly, the environmental impact of the various projects is another undertaking that this program addresses to facilitate the construction of safe buildings that do not endanger the health of its citizens. Furthermore, it places an emphasis on the culture of integrity in the internal and external operations of public entities. These directives seek to sanitize the procurement and use of essential equipment as well as boost the public’s confidence in these organizations. While the program strives to facilitate the accomplishment of the ruler’s vision for Dubai, it also aims to create a uniform workforce that shares common developmental goals for the success of this emirate as well.
However, some recommendations have to be made to modify existing tendencies and introduce new initiatives, which are in line with the challenges that Dubai is currently facing. The number of physical meetings or seminars should be scaled down since they increase the expenditure. Rather, digital communication techniques such as videoconferencing need to be used. Such methods reduce the transportation costs while also assisting the participants to be technologically well informed especially at a time when most countries are integrating modernization. Moreover, processes need to be automated to boost productivity and lower the chances of mistakes. As part of the changes to the DGEP, some of the services need to be outsourced to specific parties with the right technical skills to handle them (Ashley, 2008). In fact, these firms need to be contracted competitively and on a long-term basis. Such a move would make the carrying out of duties predictable since a rapport is created from these collaborations. Consequently, this arrangement is bound to be cheaper because the government would leverage on the long duration to negotiate lower prices for their services. The installation of intranet services among state departments should be done to improve communication among workers as well. This would decrease the number of breaks during working hours thereby making them to remain focused on their jobs. It would also aid the decision making process between senior managers and their subordinates. Similarly, the program can identify a suitable chain of command that is applicable to all units to remove redundancies due to their high economic cost. Moreover, new recruits, especially the youth can be employed on a part time basis to perform light duties in order to reduce the workload for permanent workers. This ensures that the latter are not easily exhausted because such burnout leads to a drop in productivity. The assistance they will receive, more so during peak seasons will make them rejuvenated to continue with their responsibilities instead of getting disillusioned.
Ahrens, T. (2012). Assembling the Dubai Government Excellence Program. IJPSM, 26(7), 576-592.
Ashley, E. (2008). Outsourcing for Dummies. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley Pub.
Canals, J. (2010). Building Respected Companies: Rethinking Business Leadership and the Purpose of the Firm. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cochran, C. (2006). Becoming a Customer-focused Organization. Chico, Calif: Paton Press.
Gupte, P. (2011). Dubai: The Making of a Megapolis. New Delhi: Penguin.
Mackenzie, I. E. (2010). English for Business Studies: A Course for Business Studies and Economics Students. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oxford Business Group. (2007). The Report: Dubai 2007. London: Oxford Business Group
Roy, A., & Ong, A. (2011). Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of being Global. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
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