An organization is only as strong as its weakest link. This makes it imperative for organizations to invest in their most valuable asset: People. To do so, organizations must make sure their policies care for and nurture their people and thusmake them feel valued.
Individualsmake an organization what it is. Leaderscan devise perfect strategies to achieve excellent results, but without the right people working towards achieving common goals, those efforts will be futile.Excellent organizations understand the importance of unlocking employees’ potential and hencestrive to create and sustainpeople-centric policies and a work environment that promotes fairness and equal treatment and opportunities. Through such efforts, an organization is assured to continue toattract and retain the best talent the world has to offer.
Excellent employeesare attracted to organizationswhere they feel acknowledgedfor the talent and qualities that they bring to the table and where they are rewarded fortheir efforts. They want to feel motivated, engaged, and encouraged to contribute their ideas in a culture built on openness and honesty.
The EFQM Excellence Model (European Foundation for Quality Management) defines clearly how an organization can ensure the fulfillment of the People Enabler Criteria so that organizations can reachtheir highest potential. The model helps a firm form a clear picture of what they’re doing right and what they may improve, so they can begin their journey towards excellence with a clear roadmap. The Abu Dhabi government takes good care of its labor force, and through the Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, makes sure that all public sector organizations are motivated to adopt the EFQM Model, so that an excellent people strategy can be implemented.
A major component of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 is the goal of reducing over-dependence on oil revenues and creating and sustaining a knowledge-based economy. This aim has led to the need for heavy investments in training and development to ensure that citizens are equipped with the skills and competencies required to empower excellence across industries and functional disciplines. Recent gains have been measured and are evident in the Innovations Index developed by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, which shows that in comparison to other economies dependent on natural resources, Abu Dhabi proves more capable and welcome to knowledge and change. These gains can mostly be accredited to the continuous efforts in developing a professional and highly capable work force employed across Abu Dhabi-based organizations.
The strategy an organization adopts provides the light that guides it towards its goals, so it becomes imperative to provide its people with clear plans which are in line with this strategy. Everything the employees do, and how they perform their tasks is defined by the company’s policies, goals, and strategies. This is why they need to have a clearly set benchmark they must reach; they must know exactly what is expected of them by the organization. This will help the organization get from them the level of performance required to fulfill its strategic goals.
The organization’s people must have set plans that help them make good use of new technologies, and to fully understand and work with key processes involved in the production of goods and services. When developing these people plans and strategies, it is important for the firm to involve the employees; they are closer to the processes being deployed and therefore are able to give new and innovative insight on the subject. This will also help keep them more involved, so they can develop ownership of the company’s aims.
The objectives that employees have, individually and as a team, must be aligned with the objectives of the organization and their strategy. All this is derived from the company’s mission, vision, and values, which need to be communicated to the people effectively time and again, so that they can fully embrace it as their own, and will truly feel passionately about the company’s goals. Plus, the company’s strategy must make room for the growth and self-actualization of its employees, so they are willing to dedicate their full time and efforts to achieving these strategic goals and, in turn, their own personal excellence.
Through surveys and meetings with employees, an organization can get feedback on current plans and strategies from the very people involved in deploying them. This can help improve strategies so that they are more effective and in line with the employees’ strengths. This will not only improve efficiency, but also help improve the peoples’ experience working for the firm; they can find their work to be more fulfilling. They will also feel that their opinion matters and will be able to take personal pride in positive results.They will not feel like just another insignificant cog in the machine.
Excellent organizations have a full understanding of exactly what kind of skills and expertise are needed to reach the goals they set. They know how to look for this list of credentials in employees, so they can take on the challenges of their jobs head on and not get overwhelmed by their work.
For certain jobs, specialized training is needed to help employees carry out their day-to-day tasks effectively, so an organization must provide ample training to help workers gain these skills. Organizations in the Abu Dhabi public sector, such as the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), provide continuous on and off the job training to their employees in order to ensure they not only acquire skills required for their current jobs, but also gear up for the future and acquaint themselves with any new processes and technological advancements that are introduced. There are also career development and training programs available to help employees move ahead in their chosen fields productively.
If an organization is to improve as a whole, the individuals that work within it must improve as well. The firm needs to make sure they evaluate their employees on a regular basis and keep this process transparent, so that the employees and the firm can accurately gauge individual performance. These evaluations can help keep the work place competitive and give the employees the motivation to adjust their work to achieve better results.
Organizations also need to make sure the employees are not left out in the cold with little or nothing to work with. They should be provided with all the necessary tools, information, advice, and not only the freedom but the empowerment to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Micro-management doesn’t help anybody, but complete isolation can be equally crippling. Ample help should be provided when needed, especially to new employees; they should never feel hesitant to discuss issues and problems related to their work with their superiors.
An excellent organization, through its work culture and environment, involves the people in decision-making and goal-setting, instead of just issuing orders for them to fulfill. Employees at every level must feel empowered to make a difference and be creative and innovative so that new ideas can be created and adopted.
This culture should value the employees’ dedication, skills, talents, and creativity, so they have ample motivation and incentives to work harder and continually improve themselves. Employees tend to feel more valued and motivated when they can see quantifiable results and benefits of their efforts in the form of bonuses, rewards, and yearly or half-yearly appraisals and performance reports, customer and client feedback and reviews, and other statistics that show growth and success of the firm.
The work culture of excellent firms promotes innovation, creativity, and a mindset that believes in re-inventing the rules. The work attitude of the employees is free and open in these organizations, so new ideas can flow in, and the resulting products and concepts are fresh and unique. This mindset can be nurtured by the organization through a culture of entrepreneurship that helps the employees take possession of the company’s projects, feel accountable for their actions, and treat the products as their own conceptions, so they treat them with care and put their all into making it a success. These are the things that set these organizations apart from the masses and lead them towards exceptional excellence.
The first step towards effective communication is to establish the communication needs of the people and the organization. What needs to be communicated? To what degree is communication needed? Which mediums are best? These questions must be answered in order to make the job at hand easier and more efficient. Based on these communication needs and expectations, a firm can create a communications strategy, and develop and establish policies that can help employees effectively communicate and collaborate.
Effective communication also consists of relaying the firm’s goals, strategies, mission, and vision to its people. This should be clear and straightforward, so there is no confusion, and done in a way that the people genuinely feel as if they are on the same page as the organization. They should be able to feel they share in the company’s values, so that everyone, together, builds loyalty, trust, and commitment. The firm must also regularly remind its people of their immense contribution to the firm’s success, so this success can be sustained and the people can be kept motivated. Understanding the consequences of their actions can go a long way in increasing morale, improving performance, and encouraging a sense of pride and ownership in their work.
The firm must also encourage communication between employees at all levels, so that ideas, information, and knowledge can be shared and made available to all. The firm should share achievements and beneficial practices,encouraging their adoption in other areas of the firm, and promotinga dialogue about what works and what doesn’t. Problems that have already been solved should be shared as case studies. Those employees who were involved in the solution can help others who are facing similar issues, thereby improving processes and saving time.
It has been already established how important an organization’s people are to its success. For this reason, the organization must take special care to recognize and reward hard work and dedication to the firm, and take care of their employees in every way possible. Terms of employment such as remuneration, benefits, redeployment, and redundancy should be in line with the company’s strategies, and must seek to ensure the involvement and empowerment of the people. The firm must also make sure they don’t over work their people, and employ strategies and work plans that help them keep a healthy balance between work and personal life so that an all-around sense of fulfillment is achieved.
The firm must encourage and establish diversity in their pool of talented workers, and there should be equal treatment and fairness between all groups and individuals. It should adopt policies regarding recruitment, career development, mobility, and succession plans to ensure that no gender, ethnic, or social group is discriminated against.
All workers must be recognized and rewarded for their hard work. Etihad Airways, which is a public sector organization under the Abu Dhabi Government, recognized its top performing Emirati female trainee engineers by giving them a chance to attend the 25th annual International Women in Aviation Conference in Orlando, Florida. This not only recognized their efforts but also gave them a chance to learn and be inspired by attending workshops and talks by professionals in different fields related to aviation.
Etihad Airways can also be seen as an example of providing care to its employees and showing concern for their safety. They launched a new ambulance service specifically for their employees in August 2014. This is a 24/7 medical service that can be called with a special number provided to the employees in the city of Abu Dhabi. This kind of care and consideration makes employees feel loyal to their organization, and feel more compelled to do their best for them. ADNOC also provides its employees with a safe environment to work in and provides health and medical insurance, periodic medical checkups, and regular visits from recognized doctors to give advice and recommendations on health and safety.
Excellent organizations also encourage their workers to participate in activities that contribute to the wider society, which can be done through various activities, awareness workshops, lectures, and conferences. They should also be encouraged to maintain a work environment of mutual trust, respect, support, recognition, and care. Employees and teams must help each other when possible and appreciate the hard work put in by others at all levels, and must behave morally and ethically in all situations with respect to their co-workers.
The Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government performance looks for these qualities in an organization and expects utmost care and consideration, recognition, and rewarding of performance in all areas. The work culture must promote valuing and caring for employees beyond the requirements of basic human rights, and the work environment and benefits should be such that top quality and highly qualified individuals are attracted to the organization in search of a rewarding and fulfilling career.by