WHEN the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) wanted to get more soon-to-be retirees to attend a CPF retirement planning service, it simplified the letter that it sent out to its target audience, adding some personalised information in the process.
The revamped letter achieved its aim, helping to increase attendance at the service by more than two-folds.
This is one example of how MOM has been using methodologies such as behaviourial insights, design thinking and business analytics to re-design their touch points to enhance customer experience and improve programme outcomes.
The ministry is also the first government agency to adopt the Agile Project Management Framework for large-scale IT projects. Agile is a project management methodology that uses short development cycles called sprints to focus on continuous improvement in the development of a product or service.
Its efforts have been paying off. MOM's Work Pass Integrated Systems for Foreign Domestic Workers, for instance, has reduced renewal transaction time by 70 per cent, and won the GovInsider Innovation Awards 2016 for its human-centred design to improve user experience.
Meanwhile, the ministry's re-designed frontline customer services at the new MOM Services Centre at Bendemeer reduced waiting time from 45 min to 15 min and was awarded the FutureGov Singapore Award 2015. The ministry's re-designed corporate website was also lauded by the Web Marketing Association for its standard in excellence after the site registered a 34 per cent improvenment in its satisfaction score.
MOM has been using the Business Excellence Framework to develop these award-winning products and services, said Aubeck Kam, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Manpower. The ministry was a winner of this year's Singapore Quality Award.
"The BE framework, comprising the seven drivers of excellence, provides an overarching framework to help us strengthen our systems and processes, uncover areas of improvement and to achieve productivity and growth as an organisation," he said.
"For example, in the customer category, the BE framework advocates the need to understand customer requirements and to create products and services that improves customer satisfaction."
A LEARNING, CARING ORGANISATION
MOM recognises that its people are integral to its success, and that implementing the BE framework requires people across all levels of the organisation to understand, embrace and be equipped to pursue excellence in their work, explained Mr Kam.
"As we review our policies, systems and processes in a rapidly evolving business environment, we bring our people along on the journey of change, ensuring that they continue to be engaged and motivated to sustain high levels of performance," he said.
For instance, during annual work plan sessions, MOM develops future scenarios that are shared with the rest of the organisation through gamification and experiential learning. It also ensures that staff have the right knowledge, skills and competencies by actively sharing knowledge at the workplace. MOM officers are also rewarded for their achievements through a rewards and recognition framework.
Meanwhile, MOM looks after the well-being of its workforce through strategic employee communication and engagement activities, and a range of corporate wellness programmes and initiatives. These efforts, which include the Flexi@MOM scheme that supports work-life balance, have resulted in the ministry being among one of the top public agencies in employee engagement.
Looking ahead, Mr Kam said MOM will continue to progress on its BE journey.
"MOM has a culture of continual improvement. We will sustain our Business Excellence efforts and continue to improve our systems and processes. We will strive to better our policies, processes and service to build a Great Workforce and a Great Workplace for Singapore and Singaporeans," he said.