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Training for sustainable change - managing human capital at the municipality of porto

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Award nominee

Over the last decade, Portuguese public administration has been facing fast growing changes brought on by the emergence of new needs, increasingly scarce resources, the requirement for continuous improvement, and factors which demand a permanent attitude of proactivity in order to better satisfy the new demands of the citizens.

For the Municipality of Porto, the modernisation and responsive development of municipal administration has been one of its prime goals, as it is directly related to a better delivery of services to the citizens. The Training for Sustainable Change - Managing Human Resources development project was launched in 2005 when the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) was implemented in the organisation. The implementation of this self-assessment followed a top-down approach led by management embracing movement and change, encouraging all 70 workers directly involved from all the municipal departments, which then prompted a bottom-up driven deployment.

As a result, employees and middle managers were able to learn about the best practices of managing organisations and the importance of measuring and evaluating performance. Successful aspects included the empowerment and official recognition of the involved employees, their commitment and skills, the promotion of team work and information sharing. This project included a coordination team and 12 ‘field teams’ led by pivots, who managed the team and reported to top management and coaching colleagues. For the first time, concepts such as mission, vision, customers, stakeholders, results, and impacts were discussed, by both employees and managers.

Training for Sustainable Change strives for continuous self improvement, by turning managers into leaders that drive change and by stimulating employees to be responsible for the management of their own talent, becoming themselves agents of sustained change. Based on a bottomup approach, sustainable change can feed itself, independently of political cycles, thus creating continuous improvements. The project includes: the possibility to engage in higher education; internships in European organisations, which can foster new skills and develop selfesteem; evaluation of individual performance to align the Municipality and the individual’s goals; and discussing and sharing knowledge so that all participants may learn from each other. In this way, corporate culture affirmed through the celebration of individual and collective actions that contribute to the socialisation process and stimulate the achievement of the mission.

In 2007 this project, formally recognised in Portugal and Europe as a Best Practice of CAF implementation, allowed the Municipality of Porto to achieve the EFQM’s (European Foundation for Quality Management) first level of excellence: ‘Committed to Excellence’.

Award info
Award category: leadership and change
Award type: nominee
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: Change management, human capital, CAF, EFQM
Short English description: The project includes: the possibility to engage in higher education; internships in European organisations, which can foster new skills and develop selfesteem; evaluation of individual performance to align the Municipality and the individual’s goals; and discussing and sharing knowledge so that all participants may learn from each other.
Further information
Organisation: Municipality of Porto
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.cm-porto.pt
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved:
Country: Portugal
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Training for sustainable change - managing human capital at the municipality of porto (41.1519268, -8.6069296)
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