From left Robby Thommy and Loganathan Murthy from Al Jazeera International Catering LLC with competition judges Dr James Harrington, Professor Tony Bendell and Marc Amblard, Click here for more photos


In this post we will share with you some lessons from Al Jazeera International Catering (JIC) LLC, winners of the 3rd International Best Practice Competition, 2014.

The best practice title is “SPEARS Methodology for Employee Empowerment and Inculcating Excellence”.

So what is SPEARS?

The SPEARS methodology is a managerial process that encourages  “excellence” to be  practiced throughout the organisation. It was designed to ensure that all staff  are empowered with proper resources and knowledge for effective decision-making.

SPEARS consists of the following:

  • S – Setting Objectives: for all functional areas and further disseminated through individual objectives for all employees.
  • P – Provide resources: required by the staff (knowledge & tools) to perform to achieve their objectives and goals.
  • E – Empower staff: to think on their feet and raise any concerns within the organization through the Corrective Action Request mechanism.
  • A – Appraise performance: of individuals on a monthly basis through the Individual Objective monitoring system to ensure transparency in performance management.
  • R – Review & Recognize: performances of individuals as per the company policy.
  • S – Share Knowledge: and create various knowledge sharing platforms to motivate creativity in the process.


An overview of Al Jazeera International Catering’s best practice


SPEARS has enabled JIC to achieve improvements in financial and non-financial results such as:

  • Increased employee satisfaction to 97% in 2013 from 93% in 2010.
  • Retention rate as high as 97.8%.
  • Overall staff participation levels increased to 95 % in comparison to 40% in 2010.
  • Timely customer complaint resolutions has ensured customer satisfaction levels are maintained at 96% (Overall increase by 10% when compared to 2010).
  • Some of the financial benefits of implementing SPEARS were cost reduction in operation by 10% in 2013 compared to 2010 operational cost.

Lessons learnt:

Some general lessons can be learnt from JIC winning the International Best Practice Competition, such as:

  1. Best practices often do not involve a technology investment: finding and applying a best practice doesn’t necessary require a big budget or investing in new high-end equipment. It could be a change in culture or management.
  2. Think out the box: the best practices you are looking for could be in a sector you have not thought about at all. Therefore, think out of the box and search for practices outside your sector. The best practice is “probably” not used by your competitors.
  3. Any organisation can apply best practices: best practices are not limited to large or well-known organisations. Whether your organisation is in manufacturing or services, young or old, or small or large it can learn from best practices and develop a winning best practice to fit its own specific circumstances.

Full access to the best practice videos, ppts and case study of the International Best Practice Competition for 2012, 2013 and 2014 are provided to members of the

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