An organisation is defined as ‘A group of people working together’ (Collins Dictionary 2001). An organisation is generally accepted as a unit working together to achieve the same goals. Concurring with this statement, Mintzberg (1997) defined goals as ‘the intentions behind decisions or actions, the states of mind that drive individuals or collectives of individuals called organisations to do what they do’.
In order for an organisation to work, set guidelines have to be put in place for both short and long term aspirations, to ensure that the organisation is moving as a whole, a unit, to avoid separation, miscommunication, and misunderstanding.
This can be achieved by administering a meaningful and worthwhile strategic plan consisting of a progressive, hierarchical set of aims. This will give each individual, as well as the organisation as a whole, a purpose. A set of aims can be as follows (Business Essentials 2010);
An example of this would be my current place of employment. Their Vision Statement is as follows;
‘We are committed to providing a modern, efficient, and cost effective service focused on meeting our customer’s needs in a friendly , timely, and accurate manner, and will provide the necessary resources to enable achievement of our objectives.
We will be readily accessible to everyone in the community to maximise social inclusion, minimise barriers to work and assist people to live in decent housing.
We will process claims quickly and accurately, while actively reducing the incidences of fraud or error through investigation. Where fraudulent intent is proven, we will seek to apply appropriate sanctions as a deterrent against future activity.
Where we seek to collect money, we will issue bills promptly and correctly. Where recovery action is required, we will act quickly, fairly, and impartially, but with due regard to social welfare and human rights of our customers.’ (Heather Tiso, 1995)
However something so unobtainable may not be in the forefront of people’s minds. This is summed up in the following article statement ‘Mission statement in some companies has a huge influence in all management levels of the firm, but in others it is still just addition on the wall and usually what’s forgotten.’
Values of an organisation are more likely to be remembered, as they are more relatable to people within.
The values upheld by the people within my organisation, are that of trust, respect, pride in work, ability to take ownership, two way communication – to give as well as to receive, to maintain excellent customer service at all time, to help each other out if need be, to feel comfortable and confident enough to speak up if they have any ideas for improvements, to strive for fairness, equality, and diversity, versatility, flexibility, taking responsibility for their own development, to be open minded as our line of service is ever changing. This encourages a culture of people that are able to pull together against constant adversity, and still achieve excellent results, as well as continually exceed Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
The key objectives of my organisation, can be broken down in to the following examples;
•Operational Goal – to increase revenue (Objective – decrease number of incorrect subsidy claims by 10%)
•Non Operational Goal – to modify behaviour of customers (Objective – to get customers to act and think in a productive manner)
•Primary Objective – to maximise revenues with as little expenditure as possible
•Secondary objective(s) – to maintain excellent customer service, to strive for 100% accuracy, to maintain excellent working relationships with stakeholders.
•Corporate Objectives – To increase customer satisfaction, to minimise risk, to ensure a glide path is in place for these objectives.
•Unit Objectives – to answer all calls within 20 seconds, to deal with all work items with a turnaround of 9 days, to see all customers visiting the offices within under 5 minutes, to identify and understand our customer’s needs, to maintain a very high level of service, to develop personal/professional relationships with stakeholders.
The influence of stakeholders Identifying Stakeholders is a process of integration within the said organisation. This can be summarised with a statement from a World Bank Group article – ‘All parties should be listed which are likely to be affected by the development, both positively or negatively, directly or indirectly.’
Stakeholders in our company are highly valued and important, and therefore our relationships with them are maintained to a very high standard. Our organisation has numerous companies identified as Stakeholders. This is not just on a professional level, as on top of Internal Stakeholders (i.e. staff) we recognise a number of Connected Stakeholders (customers, suppliers,) and External Stakeholders (local community, the government).
Therefore, overall Stakeholder influence is vast, extending way beyond just making a customer happy. The knock on effects of the positive or negative experience of that customer may affect my organisation greatly.
As different Stakeholders have different interests, it is not possible to focus on all of them at once with a blanket gesture in the hope of satisfying all their needs. Their needs have to be prioritised by looking at individual objectives, and balancing important/urgent needs with needs that would not have an adverse effect or affect relationships by waiting to be dealt with.
Examples of Stakeholders in my organisation, are employees, customers, and the Government.
As staff are immediately and intimately connected with the organisation, their influence is going to possibly be the strongest influence. It has been said numerous times that employees are the most influential. Motivated employees are highly likely to be more productive in producing work, ideas, and meeting objectives. Coincidently, the objectives of staff, are to be treated fairly, be given equal opportunity, be recognised for the consistently excellent work they produce when the odds are stacked against them, feel secure in their job and working environment, and have a sense that they are achieving. These objectives are met in the most part, however, as the organisation as a whole has a hierarchy , and it tends to be the senior managers setting objectives and deciding whether these have been met. This can lead to the human element being lost, and people judged by numbers, as other factors aren’t always taken into consideration. This can affect morale, but ultimately, our needs are met.
Achieving objectives of stakeholders
One of our Connected Stakeholders, our customers, are generally the focal point of our work. The bottom line, is customers want a service provided with their individual interests in mind, with the least possible output from them. The saying ‘The Customer is Always Right’, is incorrect in my opinion. The customer may not know what they need, they need to be asked open and closed questions in order to ascertain exactly what service they require. Customers wish to be heard, treated with respect, and for a positive experience with whatever organisation they deal with. The needs of our customers are met, as they are one of the most important stakeholders. Failure to meet these needs may result in loss of business, complaints, and repercussions from higher management if objectives are not met.
The Government is an example of our External Stakeholders. This is due to the fact we are a public sector organisation, and a direct derivative of Central Government. The Government’s objectives are mainly that their Corporate Objectives influence our Unit Objectives, as well as Primary/Secondary Objectives. We meet the requirements of the Government by adhering to their laws, policies, procedures, and implementing them whilst maintaining a professional forefront to other stakeholders, such as the general public.