We cannot cherry pick pleasant times – certainly not when we are operating the gigantic machinery called public service and governance. It can sometimes open a Pandora’s box of unpredictable internal complexities. Hence, there are programs like Dubai We Learn – Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) that can safely anchor the government authorities to their organisational mission. And, the Community Development Authority (CDA) is one inspiring story to tell.
An external evaluation conducted by the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) at the Community Development Authority showed a downward spiral in the employee experiential domains – employee happiness, employee satisfaction, sense of harmony, and commitment & loyalty. The results steadily moved south in 2016-2017-2018. The areas of concern were HR Department & procedures, leadership style, work environment, and issues related to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), motivation, appreciation and incentives.
But the CDA is determined to swim against the tide and take the horse by its reins!
CDA’s Enabling Happiness initiative is one of 11 aspiring Dubai Government’s transformation management projects. The Enabling Happiness project wishes to identify and implement best practices that engage, empower, and enlighten employees leading to elevated levels of employee happiness, loyalty, motivation, communication, innovation and productivity.
On Tuesday 30 July 2019, The Center for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) Team which is facilitating the 11 Dubai We Learn project initiatives alongside DGEP, visited CDA to evaluate the progress of the project. The project had started in February 2019.
Mr. Ahmad Mofleh Al Gharaibeh, Director General Advisor, Institutional Processes & Services Excellence, CDA shared the early measures taken to combat the situation and this was impressive!
The CDA decided to positively strengthen the demotivated personnel by engaging in QUICK WINS over the past two months (for Q1 & Q2). The happiness restoration method includes a number of initiatives – three exciting initiatives to motivate the employees, four types of communication channels were designed to promote team solidarity & amiability, and measures taken to fortify training, development & rewards.
During the meeting, Dr. Robin Mann, Director, COER emphasized that, in order to trace the impact of the initiatives it is important to compare the past and the present evaluations, taking into account measures such as employee turnover rate, absenteeism, sickness days and employee grievances. To have factual figures on whether they have produced the desired or near-desired outcomes is only practical. This will prove to be of substantial significance in the further decision-making of the improvement process at CDA; and ensure that the Human Resource Department’s role will be far-reaching.
Currently, CDA is in the AQUIRE Stage of the TRADE Benchmarking Methodology, which is the operational framework for Dubai We Learn initiatives. The COER team members further recommended some best practices that the CDA can explore to enrich their employee camaraderie & communication. Further, Mr. Ahmad, CDA, presented the outcomes of their successful benchmarking meetings with Dubai Courts, Dubai KHDA and Dubai Statistics Center to learn their approaches in employee engagement and motivation. He also expressed CDA’s plans of carrying out regular meetings with the Director General, Sponsors, Section Managers and other team members to ensure maximum stakeholder participation and involvement.
In the next DEPLOY Stage – TRADE methodology, CDA is expecting greater involvement from the HR Department to enhance the success quotient of the entire project. In this phase, their objective is to target leading initiatives in governance, empowerment, policy & procedures, and leadership programs.
Dr. Robin Mann reinforced that, after the REVIEW Stage of TRADE, common challenges/issues should be categorized and prioritized and then CDA should decide how many of them to tackle as part of the benchmarking project. Following on from this, if CDA identified 5 major issues to address then best practices for each of them should be sought in the AQUIRE stage of TRADE, therefore the REVIEW and ACQUIRE stage should be connected. He also emphasized that a Roadmap for the next one to two years should be developed once the ACQUIRE stage was completed. Based on CDA’s time-plan this could be developed by the end of October 2019 and signed off by the Project Sponsor.
The COER team met Mr. Ahmad Julfar, Director General, CDA. He shared his vision of successfully developing a robust people-centric CDA to fulfil its mission of developing social services in alignment with the Dubai Government’s goals of attaining sustainable development and a cohesive happy society that enhances their National identity and strengthens empowerment and community engagement.
The CDA-Enabling Happiness project is on track to rise and shine to outsmart all the challenges witnessed. CDA’s commitment and progress is indication enough that the final portrait of this team’s picture will be celebratory!
For more information on Dubai We Learn contact:
Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor, Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP). Email: Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae