Quality Management and Leadership in DEWA essay

Introduction

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is an energy corporation based in the UAE with its operational history from 1992 when it was incorporated. The firm is an exclusive provider of water and electric power across the Emirates with a service base of approximately 652,000 permanent customers for electricity and 580,000 water clients. The company is a merger between two corporations; Dubai Water Department and the Dubai Electricity Company which are known to have been operational since 1959. Currently, the firm has an employee base of 9,700 who are responsible for the generation, distribution, and management of both water and electric power. In the year 2013, the company was known to generate 9.656MW of power and 470 million imperial gallons of water on every operational day. The headquarters of the firm are based in Zabeel East in Dubai, and there are currently 15 customers care and call centers serving the clients.

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Figure 1: DEWA management structure.

According to the flowchart above, the company is headed by a Chief Executive Officer, who is the one in charge of approving all the decisions being made for the sake of the firms operations. The quality leadership, maintenance and assurance in the company are made through the office of the CEO. Right below the CEO, technical advisors are supposed to be the official advisers to the CEO on matters of business decisions and how to approach challenges. DEWA ensures that no individual within the management team makes decisions without consulting the others for the sake of quality maintenance regarding service and sufficient management. Below the advisors, there is Strategy and Business Development team which is responsible for structuring business ideas and proposing improvements as far as service is concerned. These are the people who are involved in the modernization of the systems to incorporate new technologies.

Marketing and Communication department comes right after the strategy and business development to connect business with the market. One fundamental arrangement that DEWA has ensured is that every department only does what the job description demands. For instance, the marketing department cannot be involved in business development activities or decision making. There are the people who tell the market what the company is offering and making communications to the customers. The finance department independently manages the money issues within the company including payment of salaries to the employees. However, the responsibility of determining service charges is left in the hands of the business development department. Leadership in the firm is managed through legal procedures as the Constitution dictates, and thus, there is a legal affairs department in the company to handle the matters relating to law and compliance.

Research Methodology

The study of the activities and the organizational structure in DEWA requires an in-depth research and analysis of the existing information both within the company records and in the market. My method of collecting data will involve examination of secondary data registered in the company records and website. The reason for opting to take secondary sources is because the issue under study is a firm which handles different departments and hundreds of thousands of customers who are recorded differently in the database. Secondly, it would not be possible to interview people and collect accurate numerical data from them concerning the company. Thirdly, the information is easily available since the government demands that firms publicly file their returns and publish their annual reports for the sake of the investors and clients to evaluate. Thus, I will be reading through the published reports and those of the current state of affairs to see the progress and also compare details. The required information pertains to the number of managerial departments and the employees allocated to those units. There is also the need to know the names of those people who are currently holding the offices for the sake of comparing the companys performance under different managers. The collection of data does not involve interviews or placing questionnaires since the required information is directly available in the company database. The firm is the most appropriate and trusted source of information which is required for this analysis.

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Quality and Leadership

DEWA is committed to improving individual talents through training and incentives as a measure of opening up the field for quality assurance. The leadership strategies capitalize on the individual employees capacity to handle affairs of the company as a measure of quality improvement. The firm ensures that the employees being hired are qualified according to the standards set by the government and the accreditation bodies within the country. It is to make sure that no one offers substandard services to either the company or its customers. There is an internship program running in the enterprise where university students get a chance to work and experience the reality of corporate environment. In this program, brilliant and committed students get absorbed into the human resource system to offer their skills to the company. These young and energetic people are supposed to be trained by the existing employees, and once they understand the way activities are undertaken, they offer their fresh mind in improving the quality and quantity of work.

DEWA is committed to structuring a long-term and sustainable quality of both water and electricity within Dubai. The quality of service is measured through the company values of stakeholders happiness, innovation, sustainability, excellence and good governance. These are the five key elements of quality assurance and measurement which are used to detect whatever an issue might be. For instance, if clients complain about the services they get either in the field or through their contact with the customer service offices, the company will be aware that the quality of service has gone down, and something needs to be addressed. Innovation uptake is another key element which is used to measure the quality of service. The firm is committed to the improvement of technology in a bid to reach the customers easier and faster, and whenever the technology fails to work, the company is sure that the quality of service the clients are receiving is poor.

Conventionally, firms measure the quality of service based on the financial returns they get by the end of the day and the awards they receive or the recognition by the media. It involves opinion polls which are conducted by individual firms; sometimes they get manipulated to favor corporations for the sake of wooing customers. However, DEWA does not rely on public opinion to measure the quality of service; rather, issues are handled professionally through the laid down mechanisms which include the customer feedback which is given through call centers. The management believes that dealing with real clients provides factual information compared to having an opinion poll conducted in the market which might include people who have never been customers or have never dealt with the company. DEWA is responsible for the training of technical staff within Dubai and other states in collaboration with accreditation bodies and universities. It is supposed to ensure that the country has enough supply of technicians in the field of energy and engineering, at the same time having a chance to pick the best among the trainees before other companies get them.

DEWA ensures that management is open in the different departments in that junior staff within the areas is able to make a suggestion and can be considered for deliberation. It is a mechanism for ensuring that the employees grow professionally to become future leaders in the company and elsewhere. For instance, a junior employee is allowed to make observations and table them during the meetings where the seniors will take them and deliberate on how to carry out more research on those specific issues. If there is a problem with leadership or business management, employees are required to make efforts and correct the situations without having to be pushed by their managers. This is a self-regulation type of the directorate where employees do not have to wait until there is a memo telling them what to do. Open leadership is encouraged in the firm to ensure that people are not pushed to work by the rules.

Due to a large number of employees, the departments work under teams where a small group of about 20 employees within the same department are given a leader who works with them in the absence of the manager. These team leadership positions are not permanent, and individuals hold the responsibility for some time and give it to the others to ensure that everybody gets a chance to lead the team. It is a brilliant method of creating and nurturing future leaders in the company and the country. Conventionally, corporations employ leaders from other sectors rather than growing their employees to become leaders. In most cases, this method brings conflicts when a person who was good in leading a company goes to another place and fails to fit into the system. However, DEWA is known to nurture its leaders from within the teams, and the benefit is that these people have the knowledge, expertise and are familiar with the history of the company. When companies employ people from outside, the first few months are meant for training a senior member of the staff about the company, the person who is supposed to lead people who are more informed than he/she is.

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Conflicts arise since junior staff has the information regarding the operations while their leader does not have what it takes to lead the company at the moment. This is what DEWA avoids by training its employees severally and offering training programs for students who are joining the market. This method has been professionally confirmed to be effective since employees do not leave the company often. One reason why people resign is a lack of assurance for their future in the profession due to rigidity in the leadership system. However, when employees realize that they have a chance of growing professionally, they will not be tempted to leave for another firm. DEWA has several programs which are structured to encourage employees and ensure that they remain in the company and are motivated to work without being pushed. One of those motivation programs is TAWASOL, which is a suggestion program meant to raise the voice of the employees in the leadership. Members of the staff are given a chance to officially give their suggestions on how to improve the quality of work and also exercise their leadership and managerial skills for the sake of their future in the profession.

The second program that is currently running is the Employee Satisfactory Survey, which is conducted by the members of staff to get their overall satisfaction with the company leadership. Employees are given a chance to air their complaints as well as opinions regarding their leaders as a measure of their satisfaction levels. DEWA Child Care Center is the third employee motivation program that the firm runs. This initiative is meant to take care of children of the employees when parents are at work so that there are no instances where the child will suffer or the parents will feel stressed because they are not sure what their child is going through at the moment. TAKAFUL is the fourth program currently running which is a social fund launched in 2009 to assist the employees financially in case of emergency. The fifth employee motivation program is Waffer where members of staff get discounted prices in some shops and hotels among other public places. This is to make the cost of buying items cheaper for the employees in a bid to encourage them to continue working with DEWA.

Lastly, the sixth initiative is the Excellence Award & Recognition Program the aim of which is to reward and recognize individual employees for their exceptional service and commitment to the company. The program measures activity and achievement of members of the staff on an individual basis in a bid to challenge them and make them work harder. This program rewards both individuals and groups to encourage people on working together in teams. DEWA does not entertain resistance from the members of staff, and there are punishment measures to those individuals who resist cooperating. However, before a member of staff is punished or any measure is taken against them, the companys human resource department gives them a chance to express their feelings and the reasons for resistance. It is meant to ensure that no one is wrongly punished or allowed to misbehave without a good and professional reason. The management team is required to submit their reports on the departmental progress and also explain any challenges that could be affecting their members of staff. Conventionally, companies lay off employees when it is discovered that they are resistant to rules or assignments. In most cases, employees are not given time to explain their reasons, which may lead to the unfair punishment of the staff members. However, DEWA does not entertain hasty punishment of the employees because the company believes in retaining every person who joins the team as an employee.

Summary

DEWA is one of the leading public corporations in the Middle East, based on the number of customers it serves and the quality of service given to them. The company has an experience of over 20 years in service after the merger of the preceding firms. The organization is known to be concerned about the customers the way it is concerned about the members of the staff. Thus, the working relations between the clients and members of staff is positive and standard. The quality of service given is measured based on the companys values which include excellence, sustainability and stakeholders happiness. The firm ensures that it hires the best candidates through taking part in the training programs in collaboration with universities and the approved authorities dealing with accreditation. The company works with the government in achieving the goals that are set for the corporate sector.

DEWA is a combination of Dubai Water Department and the Dubai Electricity Company which came together in 1992 after having operated independently since 1959. Employees are nurtured to leadership through training and allocation of minor responsibilities like team leadership. There are six employee motivation programs currently running in the company which are aimed at ensuring that members of staff are comfortable and have a sense of ownership in what they do. Some of those programs are financial where employees get soft loans whenever they get emergencies while others are meant to support them emotionally and socially. The corporation is headed by a CEO, who is responsible for leading the firm and approving policies. The CEO is supported by other teams which handle different responsibilities involving the running of affairs including business development, financial management, and legal affairs.

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Quality Management and Leadership in DEWA essay

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