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Christian Service News

Issue 35 (April 2002)

Topic : Director's Column

Fifty Years' Dedication and Commitment

Mr Ng Shui Lai

Over the past five decades, the services that Hong Kong Christian Service (HKCS) have provided for the public have undergone great changes just as Hong Kong has experienced its transformation throughout the same period. Undoubtedly social problems have become increasingly complicated. There is a significant change in social needs that traditional services cannot fulfill. Thus, we endeavor to continually introducing new service models in meeting these needs. If a social orientated organization fails to meet the changing needs in a responsible way, it has no reason to continue.

Throughout the years, we have always aimed to improve our services, not only in terms of their scope and technique, but also in quality. With the increased expectations from general public and the government subvention reform, more concern is given to the quality of social services. In response we have developed a set of "Indicators for Services at Excellence" to serve as our guideline. Together with the implementation of the "Service Performance Monitoring System" promoted by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) and the prevalent "Process Management Strategy", HKCS strives for the excellence in all services we offer to the community.

The "Service Performance Monitoring System" is introduced by SWD as subventions for Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). It guarantees the services provided will meet the basic requirements while process management helps to remove bottleneck and to enhance efficiency. With the "8 Indicators for Excellence at Services": service-user oriented, participation, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, team spirit, professional attitude and knowledge, ability to exercise influence, sustainable improvement, we put together our missions and beliefs with the most prevailing interest of the public in mind. These indicators contain significant concepts that are to be realized through effective administration. These indicators will be practically assessed and further modifications will then be introduced whenever it is necessary. The adoption of the Indicators is expected to show a clear direction and create a positive environment for our staff to provide quality services to the public.

HKCS is marching towards excellence in the new era with great vigor. It is important that the indicators are clearly delineated; the motivation, ability and confidence of the staff are to be strengthened through training and sharing. For NGOs, though this is an age when entrepreneurship and management are emphasized, we must at the same time remember the utmost core elements of our organization are our mission and human resources. Our mission guides us the direction to serve; and the strength of our human resources helps realize our mission. Therefore we must scrutinize carefully if our staff share the agency's mission to cater for the needs of people. It is hoped that the quality of our services can be further improved through such due diligence supported by a genuinely open attitude shared between the organization and its staff. It is rather impossible to overcome new challenges and embrace new missions if we rigidly hold on to ways of thinking that we have taken-for-granted in the past. Perhaps, before we begin our journey to excellence, we need a paradigm shift, reflect on our past and ask ourselves: what kind of agency culture is most needed for NGOs today?