How Can I (and the U.S. Economy) Benefit from Manufacturing Day?

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

The Baldrige Program recently became an endorser of Manufacturing Day, which is MFD_Logo_nodate_2015_R_Colorco-produced by several organizations, including the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), National Association of Manufacturers, Manufacturing Institute, and the Science Channel.

The goal of the day, which occurs this year on October 2 (although many states and manufacturers plan events for a full week or throughout the year), is to give manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what they and manufacturing as a whole offer to the economy. They also can work on their challenges: addressing a skilled labor shortage, connecting with future generations, taking charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensuring the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

A recent MEP blog outlined the top challenges keeping manufacturing CEOs up at night: continuous improvement, growth, workforce needs, technology needs, supply chain needs, and product innovation/development.

The Baldrige Program is a natural participant in Manufacturing Day. In 1988, it was created by Congress and named after the Secretary of Commerce to develop, educate about, and promote a criteria to help manufacturers become more competitive with their global counterparts. Baldrige continues to promote manufacturing through its products and services, including the free, downloadable, self-assessment Baldrige Excellence Builder.

If you want to learn more about how to participate, consider attending a free webinar on June 8 from 2 to 3 pm EST on how and why to get involved in Manufacturing Day.

In addition, anyone can find a local event in his/her community that is associated with the day.

Schools and students at all levels may find particular benefit from Manufacturing Day by participating in real or virtual field trips.

Posted in Baldrige Events, Business, Manufacturing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How a Role-Model Health System Gets and Grows the Workforce It Needs

Posted by Christine Schaefer

Health care organizations must have effective approaches to build and maintain a workforce with the skills to meet patients’ needs. Baldrige Award-winning St. David’s HealthCare Senior Vice President of Human Resources Richard Lowe outlined the St. David’s HealthCare system for ensuring a talented workforce during the Baldrige Program’s Quest for Excellence® conference last month.

The Austin, Texas-based health system employs more than 8,000 in its six hospitals, six ambulatory surgery centers, and numerous physicians’ practices. The organization has structured its human resources (HR) function through “centers of expertise” that manage workforce recruitment, compensation and benefits, service excellence, and an institute for learning that supports employee development. In addition, said Lowe, HR support teams based at St. David’s HealthCare facilities focus on ambulatory surgery and physician service lines.

The organization’s strategic planning process drives the HR strategy, with key metrics such as workforce productivity, turnover, and engagement identified and tracked. HR objectives, which are established as part of annual strategic planning process, are tightly aligned with overall business objectives, said Lowe. Those objectives are also anchored in the organization’s “ICARE” values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence.

“It’s very important from a systems perspective to have alignment across our system,” he said. Therefore, the organization has standardized approaches to workforce policies, compensation and benefits, recruitment, performance management, and learning and organizational development.

For example, St. David’s Institute for Learning provides a centralized and standardized means to enhance the ICARE-based culture throughout the organization. Centralized offerings in leadership and organizational development allow for standardization in areas such as the new-employee orientation process, leadership development, and general training for employees, while also providing flexibility to adapt to changing needs, said Lowe.

And the Academy for Clinical Excellence—with offerings such as the New Graduate Nurse Immersion Residency and the Specialty Nurse Accelerated Program (SNAP), as well as continuing clinical-education offerings and competency development and coordination—represents a way that St. David’s has grown its own approach to supporting high performance.

Chart of St. David's Institute for Learning offerings
According to Lowe, his organization has worked hard with local communities to cultivate opportunities for mutual success. The health system’s outreach commitments include education partner relationships and active participation in local, state, and regional associations and coalitions that benefit community health and well-being.

For example, St. David’s collaboration with Texas State University resulted in the St. David’s School of Nursing. The program provides the health care organization with a “deeper pipeline” of new workforce members; it simultaneously benefits the university through increased enrollment and the local community through retention of graduates residing in the local area. St. David’s has also partnered with the nonprofit Goodwill to create workforce development programs, which it can tap for ancillary support, said Lowe.

With a focus on maintaining its ICARE culture, St. David’s ensures that its prospective workforce is introduced early to the organization’s five core values. In fact, Lowe said that reviewing and accepting those ICARE values takes place before individuals can even apply for jobs, to help ensure each new hire’s “fit” with the organization’s culture. To the same end, “high-functioning employees” are asked to conduct peer interviews on review panels to screen job applicants for fit with the cultural values.

“Infusion of talent is critical to our sustained success; it’s just as important that that new talent understand the importance of our values,” said Lowe. When CEOs of the various St. David’s facilities review the ICARE values as part of new-employee orientation, he added, “They don’t just talk about the values; they talk about why they matter.”

For more information about the workforce-focused approaches of St. David’s HealthCare and other Baldrige Award recipients, see the organizations’ profiles and award application summaries on the Baldrige Program’s website.

And please comment below to share how other high-performing organizations you know get and grow employees for the benefit of the organization’s future, customers and other stakeholders in the community, and individuals’ careers too.

Posted in Baldrige Award Recipients, Baldrige Events, Health Care, Workforce Focus | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How Values, Quarterly Coaching Address Clinician Burnout, Improve Engagement

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

“Welcome to remarkable.”

That’s the first thing new employees at Baldrige Award recipient Hill Country Memorial (HCM) hear at orientation, and that welcome comes personally from CEO Jayne Pope. When staff members of the 86-bed community hospital refer to what is “remarkable,” they mean the culture, and when they define “remarkable,” they mean in the top 10% of patient care—not for rural hospitals or small, nonprofit hospitals, but for all hospitals in the nation.

In a Quest for Excellence® presentation on HCM’s workforce, presenters and panelists shared how they build a “remarkable always” culture by

  • hiring a “team of champions,” with each team member’s personal values in absolute alignment with the organization’s values (“If we don’t have the right people in place, we can’t do what we need to do for the people we serve,” said Amanda Stevens, executive director, Hill Country Memorial Hospital Foundation.)
  • aligning each team member’s goals with the organizational strategy map and departmental goals
  • maintaining a performance management system with quarterly coaching plans and evaluations based on position competency and demonstration of values
  • setting high expectations
  • involving front-liners and physicians, as well as other workforce members, in decision making and action plans
  • being transparent (all results from the organizational strategy map for that quarter are posted on hospital walls)

HCM’s values—others first, compassion, innovation, accountability, and stewardship—are extremely important, said Alysha Metzger, director, human resources, because HCM’s “patients truly are our friends, family, and neighbors. They have come to expect a level of care, service, and interaction as such.”

A few years ago, Metzger said, a 31-person team that included multiple levels of leaders, team members, physicians, and community members identified and defined the five values, as well as what it looked like to live those values, and they brought those draft values on a “listening tour” to every department and every shift, as well as to community members.

In addition, HCM defined the minimum expected behaviors for these values to which each and every staff member and vendor could expect to be held, and these included the behaviors that physicians expected for themselves and their peers.

A key component to ensure the expected behaviors for each value is HCM’s quarterly coaching plan, which shows alignment between department and individual goals to help staff members align their work to what the organization is trying to accomplish, said Metzger; “[a coaching plan] helps team members see how they’re doing their job, and doing it well helps us as a departmental team, which ultimately helps us as an organization. That’s something that is really special.”

The tool is used by supervisors and their designees to give quarterly feedback to staff members on how they are meeting goals and demonstrating the HCM values and performance characteristics. Leaders also receive feedback on how they are demonstrating specific leadership attributes.

The coaching plan also helps team members identify measures of success; if they are not surpassing the goals, then a coach can talk with the staff member about what’s preventing accomplishment of goals.

“The most important thing is creating a dialogue between the leader and team members,” said Metzger. “What does the person want to achieve both personally and professionally? Values are incorporated as well. It’s important to give people feedback on whether they are demonstrating behaviors that are in alignment with our values.”

Gina Enderlin, HCM’s nurse educator, said because coaching plans allow communication about personal and professional goals, they can be used to prevent physician and nurse burnout. “It’s that personal communication that’s so important,” she said. “[Coaching plans] gives us the opportunity to see and to hear where they’re at, to find out what they need and the direction that they want to go.”

John Phelps, director, nutrition services, said the coaching plans were initially not well received because of the perceived level of work on directors, but he said they eventually saw the value of open dialogue with staff. He added that the process got faster and more efficient after staff members realized that they were being coached not counseled.hcm-workforce_focus_2_Page_6

The coaching plans also help HCM take a proactive stance on turnover, especially for critical positions like nurses, said Enderlin. Quarterly coaching means leaders are in constant communication with team members, including nurses. “Most important is the listening,” she said. “You have to hear, have to really listen to desires and interest. After hearing someone’s personal and professional goals, we can afford them the ability to cross-train, if desired.”

After implementing values-based interviewing and coaching plans, turnover for first-year nurses decreased about 4%, said Metzger.

The quarterly coaching plans are not part of human resources or official performance reviews intentionally, said Metzger, and the success of the coaching plan process can be measured by a specific question on the Press Ganey engagement survey that asks about supervisors providing feedback to help goal achievement.

Physicians and volunteers participate in a similar process to the quarterly coaching plans. Both processes include the strategy of open dialogue and listening, which for physicians is leading to higher engagement. Said James Partin, HCM’s chief medical officer, “The biggest issue [for engaging physicians] is communication, communication, communication, and that has to be two-way. Involve [physicians] in the decision-making process. What turns [physicians] off the most is . . . telling them this is what you are going to do without involving them in the process of making the decision.”

Volunteers also participate in open dialogue. According to Phelps, conversations with volunteers yield information on whether they are exhibiting the values, want to increase hours, or might find a better fit elsewhere in the organization.

How might coaching plans work in your organization?


Posted in Baldrige Award Recipients, Health Care, Leadership, Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management, Uncategorized, Workforce Focus | 3 Comments

Six Ways PwC’s Public Sector Practice Focuses on Customers

By Christine Schaefer

Among challenges PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice (PwC PSP) has faced in recent years is trying to grow within its federal market. “There is no wide space,” said Rick Rodman, a principal and quality champion for the Baldrige Award-winning organization. To address the market constraints, “We made sure we understand our client,” said Rodman.

That understanding extends to clients’ challenges, strengths, and weaknesses; the macro environment in which they operate, and their ability to undertake change, he said. To serve clients well, the professional consulting organization must ensure its industry, technical, and relationship capabilities and must customize approaches and solutions to specific client challenges. That requires cultivating a team of qualified professionals capable of delivering impact and innovation and driven by a leadership team that values client success, said Rodman.

Rodman and his colleague Karen Wilson, PwC PSP principal/customer champion, presented customer-focused practices during the Baldrige Program’s Quest for Excellence® conference last month.

They shared how their organization listens to, gathers feedback from, and engages clients through six approaches: a business-development framework, an engagement management process, a client survey, contractor performance assessment reports, win/loss debriefs, and social media.Six Elements of PwC PSP's Customer Focus1. Pursuit

Wilson presented the organization’s Pursuit framework, which flows through five steps: Target, Interact, Propose, Close, and Exceed Expectations. “We had to tailor the firm’s (parent company PwC) process to federal clients’ environment, said Wilson, “They liked [Pursuit] so much that the whole firm is now using it.”

2. Engagement Management Process

The company’s Engagement Management Process (EMP) involves listening throughout a project lifecycle, promoting open dialogue, and soliciting actionable feedback. In a first meeting, PSP checks to ensure it knows exactly what the client wants based on the proposal. “We have to agree on the value delivered,” she said of the formal process.

3. Client Experience Survey

PSP uses surveys such as the PwC Client Experience Survey to measure client loyalty. Clients provide feedback on the organization’s performance in four areas: delivering outstanding quality, behaving ethically and complying with regulations, being attentive to clients’ and stakeholders’ needs, and providing skills and knowledgeable and responsive staff.

4. Contractor Performance Assessment Reports

The organization also uses surveys administered by its clients’ contract officers to gain feedback on its performance. Those contractor performance assessment reports evaluate the organization’s performance in six categories: Quality, Schedule, Cost Control, Business Relations, Management of Personnel, and Utilization of Small Businesses.

5. Win/Loss Debriefs

In relation to PSP’s win/loss debriefs, the organization requests a debrief from the government on both contract wins and losses. Written debriefs for individual proposals are shared with the Contracts Team, the Sales Team, and the applicable Sector Team within the organization.

6. Social Media

Beyond engaging its current clients, PSP uses social media to listen to potential customers, said Wilson.

Best Practices and Learning

Best practices Rodman and Wilson shared are to (1) integrate listening methods and sharing data on a performance dashboard for transparency across the organization, (2) continuously refine listening techniques such as social media to promote the organization’s long-term sustainability, (3) “organize investments” in client relationships such as holding regular face-to-face meetings, and (4) to conduct annual surveys.

An improvement PSP made in its survey practices as a result of feedback it received through the Baldrige Program was to broaden the base of customers it surveys in order to get more customer feedback, according to Wilson. Another improvement learned through Baldrige feedback, she said, is to share insights from debriefs more broadly within the organization.

“Was investing resources in the Baldrige improvement process worth the effort?” Rodman was asked during the Quest conference. “Absolutely,” he responded. Clients see the organization as more focused, and it is more competitive in its market as a result, he said.

Posted in Baldrige Award Recipients, Baldrige Events, Business, Customer Focus | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How Baldrige Encouraged a People to Be Innovative, Community Focused

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey


Baldrige Foundation Chair George Benson, Wolters Kluwer Executive Todd McQueston, Southcentral Foundation CEO Katherine Gottlieb, Wolters Kluwer Health VP of Customer Experience Sami Hero, VP of Marketing Leslie Schultz, and Baldrige Foundation CEO Al Faber.

“Baldrige is the reason why I didn’t quit my job in 2003,” said Dr. Katherine Gottlieb, president/CEO of Baldrige Award recipient Southcentral Foundation and recipient of the 2015 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award.

In her leadership role in 2002, Gottlieb had more than 900 employees, a budget of $150 million, and the responsibility to provide health care services to 40,000 people spread across 110,000 square miles of southcentral Alaska.

“And I realized our organization needed systematic change in order to be sustainable and function at the highest level of quality,” she said. “I believed I was not the leader to take the organization to the next step.”

But Gottlieb said, before making up her mind, she would look for examples of other successful organizations that had transformed themselves and tools that could help.

“So when I was introduced to [the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence] in 2003, I looked at it with the same scrutiny that I would for anyone or anything entering our Tribal doors. . . . I found that Baldrige aligned with our values. I found that Baldrige does not dictate but asks questions. . . . I found Baldrige would assist my leadership in driving our system to best practices. I found that Baldrige focuses on systematic change. I chose to enter the Baldrige journey to excellence.”

Dr. Katherine Gottlieb speaking at the 2015 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award ceremony

Dr. Katherine Gottlieb speaking at the 2015 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award ceremony

To really understand that journey, one needs to understand the history of Southcentral Foundation and its customer-owners, the Alaska Native and American Indian people.

“Imagine not having control over anything in your life, but that all of your life, someone or something else did. And this control was exercised over you and your family in a way that stripped you of your cultural and spiritual beliefs and even your language. It stripped you of your country and privileges, rights as a human being, and the result of this was your people became despondent and lost their voices,” said Gottlieb, summarizing the plight of Native communities in Alaska.

According to Gottlieb, upon passing the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, Congress said, “the federal domination of Indian programs has served to retard rather than enhance the people and their communities and denied them an effective voice in the planning and implementation of programs that respond to the needs of people.” She said the federal government recognized that if the people receiving health services owned their own health care, health statistics would improve.

Alaska Native and American Indian people chose to exercise this law throughout the entire state of Alaska and are now operating and managing their our own health care systems.

In 1991, as the new CEO of Southcentral Foundation, Gottlieb said the health care system chose to create vision statements, goals/shared responsibilities, and operational principles based on relationships. Outcome measures, population-based services that recognized the community’s culture and strength, infrastructure, culturally appropriate buildings, and listening mechanisms had to be established as the customer-owners, the Alaska American Indian people themselves, took over their own health care.

In 2004, Southcentral Foundation started using the Baldrige model.

“The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence has played a tremendous role in providing a systems framework to transform a slow, medical, bureaucracy [into an] agile, customer-driven system of care. . . . I owe Baldrige a lot,” she said.

She added, “Baldrige does not control but relies on creativity and innovation for answers. Baldrige didn’t try to take away our culture but encouraged it through the inclusion of our community, our people, our customer-owners, our employees.”

One of the first things the organization learned through Baldrige, she said, regarded the vision statement; “Baldrige came in and asked the question, ‘How does every employee know they are achieving the vision?'” After its 2011 Baldrige site visit, Gottlieb said staff members, from receptionists, to providers, to maintenance workers, could respond to how they personally achieve the vision and mission.

“Baldrige revealed opportunities for improvement. . . . Baldrige gave us that common language. . . . It continues to encourage me as a leader.” She said her most proud moment was the third-party validation of Southcentral’s excellence during the 2011 Baldrige Award ceremony.

Organizations from around the nation and world now come to Southcentral Foundation to learn about its customer-focused, relationship-based “Nuka System of Care.” According to Gottlieb, communities from Oregon, the Veterans Administration, Cherokee Nation, and Canada are just some who have begun to adapt Southcentral’s Nuka system.

Gottlieb can even pull the organization’s updated Baldrige Award application—”the Little Baby Bible”—out of her purse; “This document lays out in detail the infrastructure of Southcentral Foundation. . . . How the succession planning works, budget approval cycles. It’s all in there. Everyone knows where we’re at. Data are kept up to speed. . . . It keeps us up to speed on where we are with health and safety measures, workforce, where we’re falling behind, where are our shortages, what’s happening in the global world that might affect us. . . . It’s really fun to use. It’s a format that works for us.”

Southcentral Foundation continues the Baldrige journey, she added, “because Baldrige is a tool that influences without controlling. . . . And allows a community, an individual, an organization, a group of employees to be free to be innovative. Baldrige encourages an organization to include its community and culture. . . . And thus we are renowned for these successes.”

But there is one additional success that Gottlieb proudly shares. And that is taking back the Native dance, culture, and Supiaq language of her Alaskan Native village. Not only does she share Southcentral’s model to help other health care providers improve, but, she tells me, she is proud to be giving back her culture, too.

Posted in Baldrige Award Process, Baldrige Award Recipients, Baldrige Criteria, Customer Focus, Health Care, Leadership | Leave a comment