Monthly Archives: November 2007

Famous Awards – Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award

Celebrating the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award’s 20th anniversary this past week, on November 20th in Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez announced that five organizations were the recipients of the 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for organizational performance excellence. For the first time in the history of the Baldrige Award, nonprofit organizations have been selected.


The Trophy
The Award crystal is composed of two solid Steuben Crystal prismatic forms, that stands 14 inches tall. The crystal is held in a base of black anodized aluminum, with the award recipient’s name engraved on the base. A 22-karat gold-plated medallion is captured in the front section of the crystal. The medal bears the inscription “Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award” and “The Quest For Excellence” surrounding the Baldrige “Ribbon with Star” Logo on one side and the “Presidential Seal” on the other side.

The award crystal cannot be reproduced in any form or size. Award recipients may reproduce the Baldrige Award trademark and Baldrige Award medallion for use on mementos. However, replicas and printed reproductions of the medallion cannot include the Presidential seal, which is on the reverse side of the medallion. Copies of the medallion may be produced with plain reverse side, a duplicate of the front side, or name or trademark of the award recipient along with the year the award was won.

Why was the award established?
In the early and mid-1980s, many industry and government leaders saw that a renewed emphasis on quality was no longer an option for American companies but a necessity for doing business in an ever expanding, and more demanding, competitive world market. But many American businesses either did not believe quality mattered for them or did not know where to begin. The Baldrige Award was envisioned as a standard of excellence that would help U.S. organizations achieve world-class quality.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. Originally, three types of organizations were eligible: manufacturers, service companies and small businesses. This was expanded in 1999 to include education and health care organizations, and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations (including charities, trade and professional associations, and government agencies). The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 72 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.

The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector. As a nonregulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Public Law 100-107
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was created by Public Law 100-107, signed into law on August 20, 1987. The Award Program, responsive to the purposes of Public Law 100-107, led to the creation of a new public-private partnership. Principal support for the program comes from the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, established in 1988.

The Findings and Purposes Section of Public Law 100-107 states that:”
1. the leadership of the United States in product and process quality has been challenged strongly (and sometimes successfully) by foreign competition, and our Nation’s productivity growth has improved less than our competitors’ over the last two decades.
2. American business and industry are beginning to understand that poor quality costs companies as much as 20 percent of sales revenues nationally and that improved quality of goods and services goes hand in hand with improved productivity, lower costs, and increased profitability.
3. strategic planning for quality and quality improvement programs, through a commitment to excellence in manufacturing and services, are becoming more and more essential to the well-being of our Nation’s economy and our ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace.
4. improved management understanding of the factory floor, worker involvement in quality, and greater emphasis on statistical process control can lead to dramatic improvements in the cost and quality of manufactured products.
5. the concept of quality improvement is directly applicable to small companies as well as large, to service industries as well as manufacturing, and to the public sector as well as private enterprise.
6. in order to be successful, quality improvement programs must be management-led and customer-oriented, and this may require fundamental changes in the way companies and agencies do business.
7. several major industrial nations have successfully coupled rigorous private-sector quality audits with national awards giving special recognition to those enterprises the audits identify as the very best; and
8. a national quality award program of this kind in the United States would help improve quality and productivity by:
a. helping to stimulate American companies to improve quality and productivity for the pride of recognition while obtaining a competitive edge through increased profits;
b. recognizing the achievements of those companies that improve the quality of their goods and services and providing an example to others;
c. establishing guidelines and criteria that can be used by business, industrial, governmental, and other organizations in evaluating their own quality improvement efforts; and
d. providing specific guidance for other American organizations that wish to learn how to manage for high quality by making available detailed information on how winning organizations were able to change their cultures and achieve eminence.”

The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients—listed with their category—are:
• PRO-TEC Coating Co., Leipsic, Ohio (small business)
• Mercy Health System, Janesville, Wisc. (health care)
• Sharp HealthCare, San Diego, Calif. (health care)
• City of Coral Springs, Coral Springs, Fla. (nonprofit)
• U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. (nonprofit)
“I am pleased to join President Bush in congratulating the five outstanding organizations that have been named to receive this year’s Baldrige Award,” said Secretary Gutierrez. “The organizations we recognize today have given us superb examples of innovation, excellence and world-class performance. They serve as role models for organizations of all kinds striving to improve effectiveness and increase value to their customers.”
With these new recipients, the program celebrates its 20th anniversary. Along with recognizing the achievements of the award recipients, a key measure of the Baldrige National Quality Program’s impact has been the widespread use of its Criteria for Performance Excellence, the guide designed to help organizations of all types improve their operations. Since 1987, about 10 million copies of the Baldrige criteria have been distributed. Downloads currently number about 1 million annually. Additionally, more than 40 U.S. states and more than 45 countries worldwide have implemented programs based on the Baldrige criteria.
The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 84 applicants. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. The evaluation process for the 2007 Baldrige Award recipients included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by teams of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.
The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with their awards in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early next year.

Employee Recognition – The Power of Recognition

The Power Of Recognition
A company that creates an environment that motivates people, and where positive behavior is rewarded, will attract…

… the best talent, maintain strong morale, retain key employees and ultimately stay ahead of the competition.

This same environment, rich in motivation and recognition, will also achieve positive results on the ball field, in the classroom and even around the dinner table. The key to this basic premise is RECOGNITION – Making Someone Proud. If you reward good behavior, it will be repeated. This principle has been demonstrated over and over again, in both laboratory settings and in the real world. What is the reward? RECOGNITION – Making Someone Proud. Studies have shown that if you recognize and appreciate your co-workers, good things will happen. Stress, absenteeism, turnover will decrease, while morale, productivity, competitiveness will increase. Likewise, in the classroom, positively reinforcing behavior through recognition, will lead to increased attentiveness, improved test scores and most importantly, a genuine interest in learning.

Despite popular belief, money isn’t the best way to recognize superior performance. In fact, research shows us that the number one reason people leave jobs is “limited recognition and praise.” Issues such as compensation were all deemed less important than recognition. Clearly, people value respect, appreciation and recognition just as much as — and often more than — monetary rewards. The money will be spent and long forgotten, while an award will live on as a reminder of the achievement for years to come.
An added benefit of recognition is that it affects more than just the recipient. When a coach recognizes a player for improving their play, not only does the player feel proud about the recognition but the coach also celebrates in the joy of accomplishment and feeling of pride. When a manager recognizes a co-worker, the co-worker is proud, but so is the manager to have that person on their team. Recognition as it is given or received is an act of empowerment. Others on the team or in the room are also inspired, and they strive to be recognized and to recognize others.

How do you recognize your team members, your co-workers, your students or family members? Start small. Recognize individual achievement whenever you can. Or, you may choose to implement a more formal recognition program. The program may be tailored to suit any goal, from increasing points scored to improving corporate sales to bringing up the class grade point average. It’s a fairly simple process, and it doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money — remember, it’s the recognition itself that’s so important.
That’s the foundation for successful motivation. By Making Someone Proud, you can appreciate the work people perform, respect them for it and recognize their accomplishments.

Appreciation and recognition are powerful motivators leading to an increase in performance, productivity, morale, employee retention and overall satisfaction. Appreciation and Recognition are two of the top principles people value in their jobs.

Creating Your Own Recognition Program
A recognition program is the best way for any company to provide employees with these good feelings. How you design and implement the program will determine its success. It must be carefully planned, consistent, and meaningful to both employees and managers. Remember, your program’s ultimate goal is to motivate those involved to reach higher levels of achievement, as well as provide for lots of recognition among peers.

Step 1: Goals
First, determine the goals of your program. Ask yourself what it is you wish to accomplish. It may be sales, cost reduction, customer satisfaction, or promoting a new product. Ask for input from those around you. Make your goal simple and specific.

Step 2: Target
As you discuss your objectives, it should become clear exactly whom the program should target (warehouse personnel, salespeople, etc.); you may need overlapping programs for the different groups. Make sure your objectives are realistic and attainable. Colleagues must feel they can reach the targets you put before them, and their results will be evaluated fairly.

Step 3: Recognition & Awards
Now that you have carefully selected your goals for the recognition program, and you understand who will be participating, determine how and what kind of awards you will hand out. Will you give an award to just the top person, or will there be second and third place? You may want to consider “interim awards” to maintain inspiration for programs that run for long periods: every 100 days without an accident on the way to 1 year for example.
When selecting an award, keep in mind the power of personalization. Whether it’s a crystal bowl, a marble obelisk, a plaque, certificate or a small medal, it’s important to have the person’s name inscribed. It makes the award “feel official,” the emotion to it last longer; it’s permanent recognition. Personalization gives the recipient an opportunity to show it off, whether it’s displayed on a desk, mantel or hung on the wall. Furthermore, every time the individual sees the award, with the company logo, their name and the recognition of achievement etched into the award, it will reinforce the relationship and commitment to the organization, themselves and their peers.

Step 4: Communicate
Once the parameters of the recognition program is mapped out, conduct a meeting with all involved to make sure they understand the program completely. Answer questions, and don’t be afraid to make modifications in the plan upon hearing from those involved. This will further the feeling that everybody is “in” on the plan. When the program has been formalized, post it in a conspicuous place.

Step 5: Promotion
Once the plan in place, promote it. Send reminders to participants, being sure to rally them to the cause, not threaten them with extinction if the goals are not met. At the end of the program, but before the awards are distributed, send congratulatory notes to all participants, celebrating their success. Make sure the letters are personal, with messages from top management recognizing their effort and contributions to the company.

Step 6: Distribution of Awards
When the awards are finally distributed, do it as lavishly as your possible. Treat your ceremony like a night at the “Oscars.” Whether you host a banquet in a rented hall or bring in donuts and coffee, the fanfare involved will make the awards more meaningful. This positive feeling will extend from the actual award recipients to their peers and even to upper management.

Step 7: Evaluate
Evaluate the program’s results. Conduct a survey or hold meetings with all involved, focusing on the program itself, the goals, even the awards and “ceremony.” Inquire if there were any snags along the way, and how they can be ironed out. Ask if the program reached the ultimate goals, met all expectations, and if there were any unexpected benefits. Sit down and analyze the feedback. And don’t forget, get the next recognition program rolling. You can never have too many happy co-workers!