NGO bronze reflects broad appeal
Quality management is not exclusive to private enterprises as public bodies and non-governmental organisations have demonstrated equal effort and commitment to best practices.
John Chan Cho-chak, chairman of the HKMA Quality Awards organising committee, said quality management worked for public and private sectors, a fact reflected in the scheme's results in recent years.
'We have seen government departments emerge as winners over the past two to three years. This year marks the first time that an NGO has been [honoured] in the scheme,' Mr Chan said.
This year the Hong Kong Society for the Aged took the bronze award.
'This is also reflective of the widespread recognition the Quality Award has gained among the business community as well as the government and social organisations.'
Dr Chan said quality management was not exclusive to private enterprise and that all types of organisations should work towards achieving excellence in management strategy, organisation and how they target customers.
'Quality management will contribute to better performance and results for all enterprises and organisations. It is closely tied with the local economy and plays a key role in strengthening Hong Kong's international competitiveness,' he said.
The Quality Award, first launched in 1991, rewards companies and organisations for achieving outstanding standards of quality in their management and performance.
Participating organisations are assessed in respect of their achievements in seven sets of criteria which are: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement and knowledge management, human resources, process management as well as results.
Dr Chan said this year's participating companies and organisations had demonstrated high standards of quality in the seven sets of criteria, which showed their strong commitment to the process of quality management.
'They have performed very well in terms of enhancing communications with their staff and building a team spirit to work together for quality management. This is key to the quest for excellence,' he said.
'Another key to quality management is the commitment to empowering staff to carry out their duty properly. This has to penetrate from the top down within the organisation so that employees of different levels and functions understand their responsibilities and contribute their parts effectively.'
Dr Chan said it was encouraging to see small and medium-sized enterprises making extra efforts in pursuing excellence in management and their increasing participation in the Quality Award scheme. Companies and organisations were also conscientious about their social responsibilities as corporate citizenship became an integral part of quality management.
Awards, however, were only the beginning of the pursuit of further development.
'In an age of change and a globalised economic environment, organisations have to brace themselves for new challenges every day. Winning the award does not mean that they no longer need to work harder for the future. It is always important to strive for continuous improvement,' Dr Chan said.
'Good communication is of great importance to motivating staff and getting them involved in the process of quality management. The organisational direction and performance expectations set by the management should be clearly communicated to employees.'
He said the provision of training and promotion opportunities would also enable employees to develop a sense of belonging to the organisation and to pursue further advances in career development.
'Raising salaries may not necessarily be the motivating factor as money is not everything. What employees want more is the opportunity to build and develop their careers,' he said.
For companies and organisations taking part in the award scheme, Dr Chan said they had already made an important step forward to quality management even if they did not clinch an award this year.
'The process of making an application for the award requires a great deal of effort from both the management and staff to work together for achieving excellence. It is a step in the right direction and I believe they will continue to work hard and improve,' he said.
'The participants will also receive a detailed report from the panel of judges on their strengths and particular areas for further improvement. This valuable information should be able to help them achieve better performance in the future.'