– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
An organisation’s path can be illuminated by its core values. Components of these values demonstrate an organisation’s identity to employees, stakeholders, and customers. UKZN Extended Learning’s core values form the backbone of our organisation and create its culture of learning. One of our core values is excellence, and it is one we strive to achieve in all we do.
All elements of an organisation can reach a level of excellence through continuous improvement. Organisations can make varying degrees of improvement through consistent efforts. Excellence can be supported by innovation, engagement, and exploring ways to deliver excellent customer service. Aiming for perfection would be a futile exercise for most. So, it makes more sense to target reasonable and achievable improvements in the pursuit of excellence.
There is always room for improvement, regardless of how good an organisation can be. Aspiring for excellence requires continuous improvement in processes and a focus on the way products are made and services provided. Nevertheless, striving for constant improvement is a challenging feat that tasks a company to do even better no matter how well the business is already performing.
At the cusp of the working from home transition, UKZN Extended Learning did not hesitate to move with the times with the conversion to an online world. This was achieved by introducing our blended learning methodology as a swift response to the pandemic. Maintaining the importance of higher education amid this significant shift in the learning environment was imperative.
Employee engagement leads to continuous improvement. Increasing the understanding of striving for continuous improvement across an organisation is the responsibility of every employee. According to Gallup poll statistics, companies who have engaged and satisfied workforces realise improvements in profitability and productivity, fewer defects in the workplace, lower absenteeism, lower staff turnover and fewer accidents. Empowering employees to feel like their opinions and suggestions are heard for improvements that bring value will ultimately increase their ability to contribute fully to the company’s mission and contribute to the delivery of an excellent customer experience.