1. What keeps rocket scientists happy at work (could engage your employees, too)

    August 31, 2018 by ahmed

    Originally posted by Christine Schaefer on blogrige

    A 2017 Baldrige Award Winner with a Strong Workforce Focus
    Want to improve workforce engagement in your organization? Consider what you can learn from one of the nation’s identified role models for high performance. For example, in the business sector, you might study Stellar Solutions, a 2017 Baldrige Award-winning small business based in Palo Alto, California, that provides professional engineering services in the aerospace field.

    Stellar Solutions has been repeatedly designated a “Great Place to Work” by Fortune magazine in recent years (from 2014 to 2017). 2017 employee survey results show that 99 percent of respondents agree that “taking everything in to account, Stellar is a great place to work.” For the same four consecutive years, survey data show that 100 percent of its customers would recommend the company to others.

    How does Stellar Solutions engage its rocket scientists (among other employees) to achieve such enviable results? From its inception in 1995, the woman-owned business has set a vision of aligning “employees’ dream jobs” with its customers’ critical needs.

    Systematic Processes
    To meet its objectives of having (1) engaged, satisfied employees, (2) employees’ “dream jobs” matched with customers’ critical needs, and (3) “low to no attrition,” Stellar has created a system of workforce-focused processes (in alignment with category 5 of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence) that include the following practices:

    • Conducting monthly face-to-face employee visits/meetings
    • Creating employee incentive bonus plans and review these with employees
    • Completing annual updates to each employee’s “Dream Job Worksheet” and review progress quarterly
    • Providing annual required training
    • Providing professional development training
    • Providing recognition through bonuses

    Measures and Results
    Key metrics used by Stellar to measure its approaches for developing and retaining employees include completion of annual bonus plans, quarterly dream job assessments (i.e., reviewing progress on each employee’s Dream Job Worksheet), employee participation in training, bonuses paid, employee survey ratings, and attrition.

    In addition, Stellar measures its progress in relation to its identified top three drivers of employee engagement: (1) feeling empowered and trusted to do what’s best for the customer, (2) feeling encouraged to balance one’s work life and personal life, and (3) feeling that one’s work has special meaning rather than being “just a job.”

    For the company’s 2017 employee survey, 100 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “I am empowered and trusted to do what is best for my customer.” In addition, 98 percent agreed with the statement “I am encouraged to balance my work life and my personal life,” and 97 percent agreed that “My work has special meaning: this is not ‘just a job.’”

    Key Points
    At the end of a presentation of its workforce-focused practices for the Baldrige community in April, Stellar shared these two key points:

    • “Our employees are our greatest resource.” Stellar Solutions keeps employees engaged by “helping them work toward their dream jobs and empowering them to identify and solve our customers’ most critical needs.”
    • “It is important for us to encourage and offer multiple outlets for collaboration and communication among our workforce to share knowledge across various locations and projects.”

    What do other organizations do (or not do) to engage workforce members? Please share ideas by submitting a comment below.

  2. Best Practice Report – Paramedics and Paramedic Training

    August 25, 2018 by ahmed

    There are usually three levels of emergency medical technician (EMT) certification for the emergency medical services (EMS): entry, intermediate, and advanced. Paramedics (sometimes referred to as ambulance officers) possess the advanced (or highest) level, which can only be achieved after some 1200-1800 hours of training.
    Paramedic training needs to be extremely rigorous; these are, after all, the people who attend to the injured or ill at the scene of a medical emergency. In a rescue mission, it is often a paramedic who takes the lead, and who has the most responsibility for decision-making. For this reason, paramedic training generally comprises two major components. The first focuses on advanced life support as well as many of the functions of a basic EMT; these include performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), treating wounds, delivering babies, and undertaking patient assessments prior to arrival at the hospital. The second is crisis management, including strong leadership, keeping calm and composed, and being able to perform life-saving functions in stressful situations.

    This report outlines the best practices research undertaken by BPIR.com in paramedic training. The best practices have been compiled under seven main headings. This layout is designed to enable you to scan subjects that are of interest to you and your organisation, quickly assess their importance, and download relevant information for further study or to share with your colleagues.

    In This Report:

    1. What is a paramedic, and what does paramedic training entail?
    2. Which organisations have received recognition for the excellence of their paramedics or their paramedic training?
    3. How have organisations reached high levels of success in paramedic training?
    4. What research has been undertaken into paramedics and paramedic training?
    5. What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in paramedic training?
    6. How can the effectiveness of paramedics and paramedic training be measured?
    7. What do business leaders say about paramedics and paramedic training?

    Access the report from here. At the bottom of the page is a PDF version of the report for easy reading. If you are a non-member, you will find some of the links in this report do not work. To join BPIR.com and support our research simply click here or to find out more about membership, email membership@bpir.com. BPIR.com publishes a new best practice every month with over 80 available to members.

  3. COER News – Articles on Business Excellence, Benchmarking, Best Practices and Innovation

    August 20, 2018 by ahmed
    The Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), BPIR.com’s sister organisation, recently published its latest newsletter for August 2018.
    Download a copy of COER’s August 2018 Newsletter here.

    The contents of the newsletter are described below:

    • The Global Organisational Excellence Congress
    • 10-12 Dec 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE
    • Launch of Public Service Excellence Program in Tonga
    • Dubai We Learn: Dubai Police
    • Best Practice Reports
    • Latest Self-Assessment Tools
    • COER Research Projects
    • Excellence Without Borders Update
    • Positivity for Excellence
    • Factors Leading To Successful Benchmarking
    • PhD Research Opportunities
    • Read the Latest on Our Best Practice Resource – BPIR.com
    • Other Activities/Articles of Interest by COER’s friends and partners
    • Australian Organisation for Quality: Qualcon 2018, Brisbane, Australia 14 – 16 Oct
    • EFQM Forum 2018: Symphony of Excellence 18 th – 19 th Oct
    • Performance Excellence Summit & Canada Awards for Excellence
    • Canadian Business Excellence Awards for Private Businesses

  4. So what is Strategic Alignment?

    August 19, 2018 by ahmed

    Originally posted by Harry Hertz on Blogrige

    I recently returned from a family vacation to Hawaii. Our family vacations involve nine people: my wife and I, my two sons and their wives, and my three granddaughters. While we have downtime, we generally plan our days for activities we all enjoy and in which we can all participate (ages 6 through, ah-hem, senior citizens). I know there are also families who plan their vacations differently, for example independent activities during the day and then a communal dinner.

    Strategic Alignment
    By now you are probably asking, what could this possibly have to do with strategic alignment? Well, I recently read a blog about strategic alignment, in which Dennis Miller discusses the importance of strategic alignment in nonprofit organizations. He defines strategic alignment as, “the process of aligning all stakeholders, internal and external, so that all are focused and committed to achieving a shared organizational vision.” Well, our family had a shared vision of having a great, once-in-a-lifetime, vacation in Hawaii. And we had to align all our individual desires and gain cooperation of external partners, like the luau providers. Was that strategic alignment? It was challenging at times and strategic alignment is difficult. However, I began to wonder, isn’t there more to true organizational strategic alignment than the alignment of people, although that alone can certainly be a challenge.

    I did some literature searching to see if there was general agreement on the definition of strategic alignment. I found two articles in the Houston Chronicle about strategic alignment, with a focus on for-profit companies. The first article, by Steven Symes, defines strategic alignment as, “what matters most to the organization and then create a road map to achieving the organization’s purpose.” The article goes on to indicate that alignment requires planning, a willingness to make adjustments, and an involved workforce. So this definition focused on the planning process. The second article, by Flora Richards-Gustafson, defines strategic alignment as, “lining up a business’ strategy with its culture.” The approach according to Richards-Gustafson is a process that requires management to change and align its vision with leadership goals, organizational culture, and individual staff members. So, maybe our family wasn’t in strategic alignment, since there were no “leadership” goals that others had to align with?

    Finally, I went to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, which defines strategic alignment as, “the process and the result of linking an organization’s structure and resources with its strategy and business environment (regulatory, physical, etc)”. So, is strategic alignment about use of SWOT or PEST analysis?

    Systems Perspective
    In the end, I think all of these concepts are important to strategic alignment. But, in my opinion (and I am biased), the critical organizational concept is one of a systems perspective. It is the first of the 11 Baldrige Core Values and Concepts.

    A systems perspective means, “managing all components of your organization as a unified whole to achieve your mission, ongoing success, and performance excellence.”

    You need to view the organization as a system with interdependent operations that need to operate in a unified and mutually beneficial manner. It incorporates key business attributes, including core competencies, strategic objectives, action plans, work systems, and workforce needs.

    How does your organization operate? With a systems perspective or a more narrow approach of (choose your definition!) strategic alignment ?

  5. 6th Global Benchmarking Award – 2nd call for entries

    August 15, 2018 by ahmed


    The Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) launched the Global Benchmarking Award in 2012 to recognise those organisations that had integrated benchmarking into their organisation’s strategy and processes in order to continuously learn and innovate.

    To submit your entry application please visit http://www.globalbenchmarkingaward.com/entry-form where you can download an entry form. The 2nd call for entries closes on 21st of September 2018.

    The 6th Global Benchmarking Award will be held in will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the Global Organisational Excellence Congress courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

    The Congress will also include:

    24th Asia Pacific Quality Organisation International Conference

    • ACE Team Awards Competition 2018
    • 18th Global Performance Excellence Award

    12th International Benchmarking Conference

    • 6th Global Benchmarking Awards

    6th International Best Practice Competition

    • 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award

    Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award’s Best Practice Sharing Conference

    The other awards/competitions that will be held as part of the Congress are explained here https://www.globalorganisationalexcellencecongress.com/enter-a-competition/

    The winner of the Global Benchmarking Award in 2016 was Al Jazeera Catering International (UAE). In 2015 the winner was The Medical City, (Philippines) and in 2014 the winner was OCBC Bank (Singapore). For videos on these award winning organisations click here.

    Add the Congress to your calendar