There are several indicators of organizational excellence. In order to assess the level of organizational excellence, companies conduct quarterly and annual audits. However, it is worth pointing out that profitability alone is inadequate when assessing organizational excellence. While assessing profitability, there is a need to check whether the present profitability is being achieved at the expense of tomorrow’s performance. Moreover, is profitability being attained through treating employees, the environment, and larger society unethically? In addition, some organizations do not have a great concern for profit. Therefore, using profitability as a key concept in the definition of organizational excellence is a failure.
According to Vaill (1982), high performing organizations have to meet several criteria. First, the organizations perform excellently when compared to a familiar external standard. Second, the level of performance is beyond the companies’ potential performance level. Third, when compared to previous performance, the present performance is better. Fourth, informed observers confirm that the organizations are performing better qualitatively in comparison to similar systems. Moreover, high performance should not be associated with the overuse of resources. Another thing is that the organizations should be regarded as exemplars in whatever they are dealing with. Furthermore, other organizations should acknowledge them as origins of ideals for the particular culture.
According to Smith and Katzenbach (1994), excellent companies have a wide array of characteristics. First, there should be a balance between performance impacts, which benefits all the team’s basic constituencies. These include stakeholders, shareholders, workers, and clients. Second, the companies maintain challenging and vivid aspirations (Grunig, Grunig & Dozier, 2006). Third, they pride in focussed and dedicated leadership. Fourth, the workforce has a distinct commitment to continued learning and productivity. Fifth, the companies derive skill-based performance from a competitive advantage. Finally, excellent organizations have great value for knowledge management and straightforward communication.
3 Long- term Organizational Excellence Characteristics that are Vital for Present Companies
Commitment is a key feature of organizational excellence. Organizations that demonstrate commitment possess a better workplace culture, process effectiveness, and unique customer service. Commitment is vital for achieving organizational goals. It is important that the top management is aware of the quality procedures and trusts that the efforts made will result in goal achievement, workplace culture, process effectiveness, and better service. It is imperative that the management portrays this dedication to the entire staff effectively. Moreover, the management must empower and be ready to take the staff through the transition process towards a quality organization. The organizational structure should embrace commitment as a key feature of ensuring excellence. Mainly, there should make a commitment towards expectations, resources, oversight, mission statement, support, leadership, and guidance.
It is imperative that the organizational structure promotes quality in the workers’ environment and job roles. Employees benefit greatly from quality environments where there is job value, escalated confidence, self- worth, increased flexibility, creativity, and opportunities for growth potential (Hui & Chuan, 2002). The structure in an organization should embrace quality guidance and team leadership, long- term effectiveness, and facilitator network.
It is worth noting that an organization’s commitment to excellence results in transformations in the daily roles, processes, and procedures. However, the novel transformations may not be accepted readily. This is attributed to the fact that not all employees embrace change. Employees respond to change in various ways. Therefore, the management should identify and assess the challenges and reactions from the employees. Consequently, the management should solve the issues through case studies and training, which should focus on demonstrating that quality is possible.
An organization whose management is dedicated to empowering all its employees has a listening ear. Field personnel has better exposure to how the community views the organization than the management. Therefore, the field staff should be given an opportunity to contribute their views on process transformations, carry out changes, and assess efficiency (Leichty, 1997).
A journey towards organizational excellence should entail the utilization of novel skills and continuous learning. Employees should possess individual and organizational skills. Individual skills are necessary for carrying out one’s roles, while organizational skills promote the use of quality and ethical procedures (Grunig, 1975).
The management in every organization should ensure that employees are exposed to regular refresher courses. Organizational skills include planning, measurement and tools, problem-solving, continuous improvement methods, effective management, customer service, and quality awareness. Some of the individual skills include strategic planning, program management, customer service, performance measurement, and metrics. When employees are aware of the organizational skills, they are in a better position to comprehend the methods and concepts that contribute to excellence. There is a need for continuous training on the necessary skills to satisfy performance standards, improve particular processes, and ensure unique customer service.
Once a company is dedicated to quality and excellence, the employees should be empowered with the necessary tools to implement change (Cutlip & Center, 1952). For instance, there should be immediate training on individual and organizational skills. Training should be carried out in all departments.
Organizational assessment refers to a quick glance at the organization. This is imperative in understanding the company and identifying the areas where more attention is required. Consequently, the general excellence, effectiveness, and success in the company are improved. While assessing the organization, several aspects should be put into consideration. These include the company’s mission, goal, and objectives, clients, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The above strategy helps in defining the organization’s environment, validating the company’s guiding principles, identifying the present leadership state, coming up with problem statements, and strategizing on the objectives for getting rid of weaknesses, managing threats, and improving the strengths.
The steering team has a great responsibility in ensuring that the organization’s changes are managed strategically. The steering team should be composed of representatives from all the departments. Moreover, the team should be committed to effective communication, measurement of progress, reviews, and planning. According to Daft (2013), members of the steering team should act as risk-takers, motivators, consultants, coaches, or facilitators. In addition, they should be committed to the company and quality principles. Conducting a SWOT analysis ensures that the company is aware of all the current occurrences in the company. Through SWOT analysis, the company deals with competition effectively. Effective problem solving goes a long way in promoting organizational excellence. In order to solve a problem effectively, there is a need to establish its root cause. The organization should identify effective problem-solving strategies.
Cutlip, S. M., & Center, A. H. (1952). Effective public relations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Daft, R.L. (2013). Organization Theory and Design (11th ed.). Southwestern-Cengage: Mason, Ohio.
Grunig, J. E. (1975). A multi-systems theory of organizational communication. Communication Research, 2(2), 99-136.
Grunig, J. E., Grunig, L. A., & Dozier, D. M. (2006). The Excellence theory. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hui, K. H., & Chuan, T. K. (2002). Nine Approaches to Organizational Excellence. Journal of Organizational Excellence, 22 (1), 53–65.
Katzenbach, J. R., & Smith, D. K. (1994). The wisdom of teams: Creating the high-performance organization. New York: HarperCollins.
Leichty, G. (1997). The limits of collaboration. Public Relations Review, 23(1), 47-55.
Vaill, P. B. (1982). The purposing of high performance systems. Organizational Dynamics. Autumn, 23- 39.