Experience report from Mario Mauracher
What's in it for an Assessor?
A qualityaustria Assessor for Enterprise Quality (Excellence) analyzes and evaluates companies with the help of the EFQM Excellence Approach. In this process, special strengths are identified and potentials in the companies are uncovered. In this short article, Mario Mauracher explains why, in his experience, becoming an assessor is worthwhile.
This sounds very interesting, but why have I been using a few days of my annual vacation for eight years to conduct an assessment? I can reveal that a high remuneration is not the reason because an assessment offers so much more.
Why invest vacation time every year for an assessment?
Imagine getting the chance to spend a day at one of the best companies and being able to ask them questions about their success. Imagine coming to these companies, offering an external view of their strengths and being able to share when employees say with pride that they enjoy working for these companies. Imagine showing these already outstanding companies further potentials, which enable them to grow even more. These are reasons that motivate me to take over an assessment again every year.
Assessment ≠ Audit ≠ Examination: A potential for growth
I always have to chuckle when I see the anxiety of the companies and try to reassure them that an assessment is not an exam they have to pass. Of course, in the end there will be a score evaluation, but we live in a society where it is important to compare oneself with others and also to recognize the progress one has accomplished.
If it is not an exam, then what is an assessment? I think the comparison with the Johari window is a very good one, namely where the self-image and the external image of a person are looked at. In the assessment, we as assessors offer to compare the self-image with the external image that we as assessors perceive and thereby can identify the strengths and potentials of the company. Anyone who has had the wonderful experience of coaching someone will know how much you learn about yourself and also about the companies you work for during this conversation. Seeing how someone else faces similar challenges can therefore be very inspiring.
After numerous assessments in different industries, I may say "everyone puts on their trousers one leg at a time". The only question is how well and excellent he does it. The conclusion of an assessment is a short flash, an impression of an external and independent group about the own company, to be aware of its strengths and also what one can be proud of. But it is also the chance to see the potential for the next steps of development. Companies that undergo an assessment have recognized that it is important to break out of the daily business and to work on themselves to reach the level of excellence. And I am growing with every assessment I am allowed to do.
Success is best when it is shared
This is especially true for an assessment. Depending on the size of the company, at least three people from different sectors come together as an assessment team. Even after eight years, I have rarely conducted an assessment with the same colleagues. This makes it even more interesting to bundle the different areas of knowledge and experience, and this is also the great strength that companies can take advantage of. Such a wide range of experience with an independent observation is a great value that we as assessors can offer the company.
In addition to expanding one's own network with nice and appreciative colleagues, this constellation is also a challenge. Different characters come together in a short time to form a team and work on a unfamiliar company. An efficient division of labor, so that everyone can make use of their strengths, is required.
At the same time, the team coordinates with the company to clarify any outstanding issues. It is an intense time for the team, as they prepare for the visit to the company, which lasts one or multiple days and is known as a site visit. I always find it very inspiring how people, who did not know each other before, form a team so quickly in order to create value together. After the very intense site visit, which usually does not allow more than five 15-minute breaks, the final report with all potentials and strengths for the company is prepared together.
A lot of coordination, interpersonal understanding and motivation goes into an assessment that would not be possible without the enthusiasm of the assessors and the support from the back office. Making this experience helps me grow, especially in my social competence.
To sum it up
In conclusion, I can only recommend this great experience to everyone, in which you can grow beyond yourself and at the same time open up new perspectives for companies to be successful, sustainable, appreciative and in the end demonstrate excellence in the market.
About the author
Mario Mauracher, BA, MSc, MSc works at Dynatrace as Product Manager. Mauracher has more than 10 years of experience in IT and Marketing. Since 2014 he conducts assessments according to the EFQM model and works at Quality Austria as Lead Assessor.