Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey
The value of organizational awards to engaging the workforce, driving business success, and sharing best practices is highlighted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article that focuses attention on the number of “most-admired” companies with headquarters or major operations in Pittsburgh, PA—among them two Baldrige Award recipients.
The May 16, 2013, article, entitled “Best Practices Make Perfect an Engaged Workforce and Commitments to Sustainability can Drive Business Success,” describes the ”most widely respected honor in business [as] the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.”
The story begins with the description of a small business growing fast but without an entirely engaged workforce. So, the small business polls its workforce to identify critical issues to address, and after several years, addressing the issues leads to a national award for workforce engagement.
The article quotes Aimee Kane, assistant professor of management at Duquesne University’s Palumbo Donahue School of Business: “Awards—whether they recognize an engaged workforce or best practices in safety, diversity or cutting-edge product development—can motivate employees and translate to employees feeling more responsible and invested.”
She adds, “If the award seems real and prestigious in the eyes of others whose opinions they care about or trust, it can lead [employees] to feel more proud that they belong to the organization . . . and they’ll act on behalf of that group. It feels good to have others think well of you.”
The article names a whole number of awards received by the elite companies of Pittsburgh—several of which have a connection to Baldrige. For example, a gentleman from Alcoa served as a judge for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and local company and 2003 and 2010 Baldrige Award winner MEDRAD, Inc. is now Bayer HealthCare Radiology & Interventional, which has some U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh. In addition, Westinghouse Electric’s nuclear fuel division, with a plant and headquarters near Pittsburgh, received one of the first-ever Baldrige Awards in 1988.
So is there a link between employee engagement and other results and organizational awards? According to this article, those plaques and trophies of these elite Pittsburgh organizations sure make their employees feel good about their jobs.