Turkey Excellence Award goes to Metro Istanbul

Metro Istanbul, one of the affiliate companies of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), passed 600 points because of the competency evaluation carried out by Turkish Quality Association (KalDer) in line with the European Quality Management Foundation (EFQM) Excellence Model, and became the world's first and only 6-star rail system operator.

Metro Istanbul, one of the affiliate companies of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), received 6 stars for its good practices in gender equality, diversity and inclusion because of the competency evaluation conducted by Turkish Quality Association (KalDer) in line with the European Quality Management Foundation (EFQM) Excellence Model. Thus, Metro Istanbul became the first and only rail system operator in the world to receive 6 stars.
IMM Deputy Secretary General Assoc. Dr. Pelin Alpkökin and Özgür Soy, General Manager of Metro Istanbul, received the award together.

A challenging evaluation process that measures management quality in multiple ways
Metro Istanbul, which received 5 stars in the evaluation conducted last year, was subjected to a challenging process by 1 chief evaluator and 5 competence evaluators this year. Metro Istanbul, which started its journey of quality by receiving 3 stars in 2020, has succeeded in jumping 3 levels in 2 years with its breakthroughs in leadership, institutionalization, process maturity and sustainability. Employees also took an active role in all steps taken in this development and transformation journey.

“A source of pride for IMM”
IMM Deputy Secretary General Assoc. Dr. Pelin Alpkökin said, “Istanbul is experiencing its golden age in the development of rail systems. As Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, we are proud of the breakthroughs made by Metro Istanbul, which runs the operation of our lines, which is a historical period in this field with our 10 rail system line constructions continuing at the same time. We know that the future of transportation in Istanbul is in the rail systems, and we can say that both the present and the future of the metro are bright”.

“The way to achieve permanent and sustainable success is through establishing strong systems and institutionalization”
In his speech at the ceremony, General Manager Özgür Soy, reminding that Metro Istanbul signed a declaration of goodwill with KalDer in 2020, said, “We started this journey in 2020 with 300 points and increased it to 600 points in 2 years. In this journey, we have become a more systematic, process-oriented institution. We operate in 3 different areas: management, technical maintenance and R&D. We lead the sector in all our fields of activity. If we were a private institution, we could establish a company in each of our fields of activity. We are a company operating in a very wide area with 17 lines of 191.45 kilometres, 195 stations and 15 plants spread over 1 million square meters. While adapting the EFQM excellence model to our company, we progressed in all steps with our 5500 employees. We ensured its dissemination by explaining EFQM in detail, and indicated why EFQM is important at every level of our company. We realized this entire transformation process while continuing to work 24/7 to ensure uninterrupted transportation in a metropolis like Istanbul”.

“We aimed to establish a permanent and sustainable management model”
Underlining that they are constantly improving their systems and processes while advancing towards their goal of perfect travel experience, General Manager Soy said, “We include all our employees in the decision-making and planning process in the actions we will take, we listen to our entire ecosystem and make our plans accordingly. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure basic conditions for passenger satisfaction, employee health and environmental impacts. We aimed to develop a sustainable management model with the awareness that people are temporary and institutions are permanent. In this way, we sowed the seeds of a corporate system where even our grandchildren, who use the metro lines in Istanbul 50 years later, can reap the benefits. We have established a structure that develops and continues its development with the participation of the whole company, not just a group”.

“Metro Istanbul is Turkey's most agile company”
Stating that they reversed the cumbersome image of public companies, General Manager Özgür Soy said, “I can proudly say that our reflexes have improved a lot and Metro Istanbul has become one of the most agile and dynamic companies in Turkey today. We are located in the middle of a huge ecosystem where we have more than 2.5 million passengers we serve on one hand and thousands of suppliers with whom we cooperate on the other hand. Cooperation with all your stakeholders is very important in order to achieve permanent success in such a large structure. The EFQM Model also specifically addresses this issue. If you cannot achieve a common development and transformation with all your stakeholders, you cannot guarantee your future. With the EFQM model, we aim to carry out our business processes and management system in line with targets and strategies and to lay the foundation for a common corporate culture and working principle”.

“I am proud to be shown as a benchmark for gender equality”
Reminding that they received the Turkey Excellence Award by showing themselves as a role model for their work on gender equality, diversity and inclusion, General Manager Özgür Soy said, “Rail systems are a male-dominated industry all over the world. However, we believe that the job will be the expertise, not the gender. In this direction, we initiated a change and transformation movement in our company in 2019. In this process, we increased the number of our female employees by 100%. Since the day we set off, our goal has been to be a role model in our industry with our work on gender equality. I am also proud that we received the Turkey Excellence Award by showing as a benchmark in gender equality today”.

“We will continue to raise our targets”
General Manager Özgür Soy said, “Each of my colleagues at Metro Istanbul works selflessly, 365 days a year, under all conditions, with the awareness of the importance of transportation by rail systems in a city like Istanbul, one of the few metropolises of the world. I am proud to be a member of a family that loves its job and is willing to develop and transform, and I thank all my colleagues. I also want to point out here; it is not over people! I said it when we got 5 stars, and I will say it again, companies that get used to being successful, always aim higher. We serve the people of Istanbul, who deserve the best of everything. For this reason, we will continue to raise our targets to increase our level of excellence”.

About EFQM
The EFQM Model is a management model that was developed by the European Foundation for Quality Management with a group of industry and academicians and announced to the whole world in 1991. EFQM is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that supports the learning and development of individuals and organizations around the world using insight gained through innovative approaches and data-driven knowledge, an active network of relationships, and a defined model.

Since 1991, when the EFQM Model was first implemented, it has been a guide for organizations across Europe and beyond Europe to develop a culture of improvement and innovation. Establishing a globally recognized management framework, the EFQM Model supports organizations in managing change and improving their performance.

In its simplest definition, the EFQM Model will help your organizations achieve success by measuring where you are in the journey of creating sustainable value. It will empower you to move forward and significantly improve your organization's performance while helping you understand the difference and possible solutions available.

The EFQM Model was renewed in 2020. Topics highlighted in the latest version are shown below:

  • Customer priority,
  • The need to adopt a long-term, stakeholder-oriented view,
  • An understanding of why and how an organization does something, what it achieves because of its actions, and cause-effect relationships.
  • The structure of the EFQM Model is based on a logic that seeks answers to three simple but powerful questions:
  • "Why" the Organization exists? What Purpose does it fulfil? Why this Strategy in particular? (Direction)
  • “How” does it plan to achieve its Purpose and Strategy? (Practice)
  • What has the organization accomplished so far? “What” does the organization plan to achieve in the future? (Results).

At the heart of the logic of the EFQM Model is the strong relationship between the organization's Purpose and Strategy, and how it is used to help the organization create sustainable value and achieve superior performance results for its most important Stakeholders.
Model has also been developed to help public, private and non-governmental organizations make their own evaluations, identify strong and open areas for improvement, and prepare their development plans with a continuous development approach, taking into account the Model criteria.
Today, more than 50,000 organizations in 48 countries around the world, especially in Europe, use the EFQM Model as a management model.

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