Outstanding performance that can sustain positive results in the future is one of the key elements of organizational excellence.
Considering organizational excellence as what can drive organizations to a brighter future in terms of more profits, cost reduction, more customer satisfaction, referrals, better net promoter score; it is important to highlight the three pillars of the excellence model from the EFQM model 2020; direction, execution and results.
Having this in mind, the model stresses the need for methodological approach where we develop practices and processes, integrate them into the organization towards agile, effective, and efficient execution, in order to achieve better performance results internally (strategic and operational) and externally as perceptions from stakeholders (customers, citizens, and beneficiaries), which can sustain positively in the future.
The third criterion of the model, namely “Engaging Stakeholders,” focuses on ensuring continuous and positive engagement with all key stakeholders of the organization including employees/public servants. Employees are therefore seen as a key stakeholder, and having them as an integral part of any organizational excellence model emphasizes the need to shift the public sector’s focus from the traditional way of operations, in which public servants are only there to process the requests of citizens, try on their own to be energetic and efficient, awaiting their retirement, to a more competitive way, in which they compete with the private sector’s staff in terms of service excellence.
For this shift to happen, the key players are the employees, who will need to feel the need, accept and change towards a different mindset where they consider themselves not just as public servants but as drivers towards the public sector’s and country’s prosperity.
Leaders need to approve such a shift, align it with organizational purpose, direct it internally and externally, support it with the right values, allow change management to tackle all what needs to change step by step, and catalyze it with motivational culture.
A motivational culture can help public servants create ideas to improve, and innovate in the direction of efficiency and agility, so that they can get recognized internally and externally. Motivate them to be proud ambassadors for the country’s welfare. Motivate them so that they can understand and fully believe that they are the primary drivers of success.
Although motivation is one word, thousands of research papers have talked about it! So, let’s get back to the foundation of human beings without further complications: aren’t we survivors? Haven’t we gone through so many crises and changes in this world and made it safely in 2022? Accordingly, the desire to see what tomorrow holds for us and to consider what we may do now to get a greater return tomorrow is what drives us to get out of bed each morning in search of a better tomorrow.
Finally, I would like to refer to the very significant connection between motivation and sustainability. Motivation is one of the components of sustainability, which ensures that resources are preserved for current generations as well as all future ones.
Will sustainability direction, focus and efforts succeed? It will all depend on whether we, people, feel ourselves part of it and we are motivated enough to invest in it. How to feel this way and how to be motivated? Simply by ensuring our sense of belonging and our ability to effect the necessary change, both for our benefit and the benefit of all future generations.
This article was originally published in the PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE Issue No. 24, 2023 – Public Sector Edition for the Ask Our Experts section.
All performance frameworks—whether it is the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), Management by Objectives (MBO) or the Performance Prism—have a shared DNA and purpose: to create synergy in the organization to optimize key results. However, two important questions need to be asked: which performance framework should a company implement and what should one consider when selecting a performance framework?
A well-defined performance framework enables the organization to achieve its desired goals, and having various performance frameworks in hand can make it a bit tricky to choose the right one. Thus, one might be tempted to try implementing what big companies such as Google have implemented and attempt to do the same within their own organization without contextualizing the company culture, size, and business nature.
This article will illustrate the four things to consider when selecting a performance framework for the organization.
- Understand your company’s goals and objectives.
It would be silly to start furnishing an empty room without first understanding its intended purpose. Is it going to be for dining or a personal workspace? The same thing can be said when selecting a performance framework. Understanding the company’s goals and objectives is crucial as it will give you a sense of direction. For example, if the company’s goal is to have a disruptive, innovative product or achieve fast growth, then you might consider the OKRs framework as it will enable you to set challenging objectives and provide flexibility to support innovation. On the other hand, if the company’s objectives gravitate toward stability and sustaining the current market share with modest growth, then the BSC is more suitable for this type of environment as it will assist in cascading the objectives from the top down and preserve company status quo while supporting growth at the same time.
- Consider the company size and structure.
When we talk about company size, we are not only talking about its capital and asset value, but we are also talking about its workforce size and how they are structured into various functions. If the company has a huge hierarchical structure where each employee is expected to perform a very specific and specialized task that is repetitive and operational, then selecting a framework that exhibits this nature of work will enable the company to create clarity and focus for the employees. A framework to consider for this purpose is MBO, which is defined by The KPI Institute as “clearly setting and defining objectives agreed by both management and their employees.”
- Involve internal stakeholders in the selection process.
Highly engaged employees produce substantially better outcomes, are more likely to stay at their organization, and experience less burnout, according to analytics and advisory firm Gallup, Unfortunately, employees can’t reach that level unless they feel that their day-to-day tasks are linked to the company’s purpose and that they have an impact on the results. A good performance framework should be able to convey this to the employees. Asking employees what they value the most and involving them in the decision-making process will result in a highly engaged organization and limit the silo work environment. A performance framework should not be imposed but rather tailored to serve the company’s goals and its human capabilities.
- Review and assess the performance framework.
Just like a strategy review, a performance framework needs to be reviewed regularly and not ossified and treated as set in stone within the organization. As the company’s strategy, size, and market grow and change, the performance framework needs to be updated and changed as well.
In conclusion, selecting a performance framework is only the first step. It is a tool for enablement, not a purpose. All performance frameworks can be customized to fit the company’s needs—these are not off-the-shelf products that must be implemented as-is. Nevertheless, other factors play a huge role in executing performance frameworks, such as employee engagement, company structure, and business processes. All these factors influence and impact which framework to select.
This article was written and submitted by Ms. Wedad Alsubaie, who works at the Strategy Management Office of the National Unified Procurement Company in Saudi Arabia.