As is the case with all major awards, winning an EFQM Excellence Award (EEA) generates a lot of publicity. Prestige also plays a certain role, but that is not the only reason why organizations enter for the EEA. It is in fact not easy to take part. It takes a lot of time, people and means. Of course it’s about displaying ‘excellence’, so if you have a ‘sixes’ mentality the EEA is not for you. So what is the reason why companies want to be a candidate?
Every participant in the EFQM Awards is visited by a team of assessors who give the organization a critical examination. In preparation the team of the participant is given the EFQM Management Document. In it, the expectations of stakeholders are translated into strategic goals, and are ultimately achieved by the deployment of people and means. Afterwards, the assessors draft a feedback report. This is another important reason why companies take part in the EEA: together, the feedback report and the EFQM Management Document contain a wealth of valuable management information. It becomes clear how strengths and areas for improvement relate to the ability of the organization to achieve strategic goals, now and in the future.
That wealth of information is not only available to participants, but is also actively shared with the rest of the world. That is why the ‘best practices’ of every participant are explicitly mentioned in the EFQM Management Document. In the future, only participants who score high at European level during a Recognised for Excellence assessment will be admitted, in order to stimulate the process of knowledge sharing even more. That is also why such high standards are expected of the assessors: only ‘senior assessors’ are involved in the EEA. Excellence on all fronts: with participants and assessors. A solid basis for proving the motto of EFQM: sharing what works.
‘Excellence’ means: optimum performance in all areas, for all stakeholders. That goes further than just financial results; after all, the planet is also a stakeholder. Excellent organizations don’t think in terms of quarterly results but more in long term value creation. Sustainable thinking as a daily routine, that’s what it’s all about. That is the inherent lesson of the EFQM Excellence Awards. And that’s more important than that nice press photo.
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