Work Force Focus

 Basic Business Cents

A Community Performance Improvement Plan for Small Business


In month 9 of the 12-month journey to improvement performance of the organization, the focus changes from process capability to the workforce capability and capacity needs to build a workforce environment conducive to high performance. The self-scoring Baldrige criteria in this category examines how your organization engages, manages, and develops your workforce to utilize its full potential in alignment with your organization’s overall vision, mission, strategy and action plans. The key components of this category are:

  • Workforce Environment: How do you build an effective and supportive workforce environment?
    • Workforce Capability and Capacity
      • Capability and Capacity
      • New Workforce Members
      • Work Accomplishment
      • Workforce Change Management
    • Workforce Climate
      • Workplace Environment
      • Workforce Policies and Benefits
  • Workforce Engagement: How do you engage your workforce to achieve organizational and personal success?
    • Workforce Performance
      • Elements of Engagement
      • Organizational Culture
      • Performance Management
    • Assessment of Workforce Engagement
      • Assessment of Engagement
      • Correlation with Business Results
    • Workforce and Leader Development
      • Learning and Development System
      • Learning and Development Effectiveness
      • Career Progression

People are the most vital resources in virtually any business. Deming called them a treasure and not to be confused with a commodity. They are not assets to be bought and sold but treasures to be valued, nurtured, and protected at any cost; after all, you have made an investment in them to get them to this point. Growing and managing this resource is essential to quality improvement.

Most efforts at quality improvement that are considered to have been a disappointment can be attributed to a failure to adequately address the human concerns. It is critical to examine the underlying culture and determine what behaviors and traditions tend to reinforce old ways of thinking and acting and are therefore no longer relevant. Output from Month One will be used to develop a set of Operating Principles to guide behavior throughout the organization.

Leaders or point people for each of the Operating Principles are selected within the organization.  Simple reporting forms are supplied for them to report on progress and obstacles each month to organization’s operations meetings, and a straight-forward survey form to measure performance behaving according to the principles. Each level of the organization is measured-executives, supervisors, direct reports, and peers.

These actions will emphasize the importance of instilling a culture of continual improvement within each organization that will cause the improvement activity to endure over time.