OE21 Guideline: 5.2a Workforce Engagement and Performance

Strategic Objective:

Strategic Objective:

Build and sustain a workforce conducive to high performance & full potential

Quality Objective:

Quality Objective:

Foster organizational culture, boost engagement, implement high performance

Approved: DD-MMM-YY

Approved by: (Name) Chair, Workforce Focus Team (WFT)

Responsibility:

Responsibility:

Lead: Workforce Focus Team (WFT)  Support: All focus teams

VALUE ADDED

VALUE ADDED: Workforce Engagement and Performance

 

  1. Assessment of organizational culture and workforce satisfaction based on workforce survey inputs 

  2. Measures workforce performance in seven key areas

  3. Measures workforce performance by work unit (teams)

  4. Allocates rewards to work units based on quarterly performance ratings

  5. Uses work unit ratings to determine the extent of rewards to work units and individuals

  6. Uses all of the above to improve workforce engagement and performance

POLICY          5.2 COMMENTARY

5.2a Workforce Engagement and Performance (Policy)

 

The organization has adopted the Baldrige Framework Item 5.2a Workforce Engagement and Performance as the internal policy, including the following sub-items:

 

5.2a(1) Organizational Culture

5.2a(2) Drivers of Engagement

5.2a(3) Assessment of Engagement

5.2a(4) Performance Management

7.3a(2) Workforce Climate Results - The organization tracks progress and outcomes of workforce climate results, including current levels and trends in key measures and indicators.​​

7.3a(3) Workforce Engagement Results - The organization tracks progress and outcomes of workforce engagement results, including current levels and trends in key measures and indicators.​​​

PROCESS

5.2a Workforce Engagement and Performance (Outputs)

 

Voice of the Workforce Assessments
Work Unit Performance Assessments

Work Unit Performance Matrix (by work unit)

Work Unit Rewards Model
Workforce Engagement and Performance Metrics
Workforce Excellence Action Plan (updates)​

5.2a Flow Diagram (Figure 5.2a-1 Workforce Engagement and Performance)

5.2a Process Chart (Figure 5.2a-2 Workforce Environment)

Inputs to 5.2a Workforce Environment

  • Names, roles, and emails of all employees, managers, and executives

 

  • Work Unit (or department) titles and codes for all work units

 

 

Measurement and Analysis Tools and Techniques

  • WFT_5.2a_Work_Unit_Performance_Matrix (.xlsx) - Note that this file contains the OE21 Rewards Model with allocated work unit reward (points or $) based on work unit performance in seven (7) key areas that drive engagement and boost results.

Outputs from 5.2a Workforce Environment

Case Study

Implementation Instructions

Task 5.2a-1 - Conduct the WFT 5.2a Manager Engagement Survey

  • WFT 5.2a Manager Engagement (survey)

This is an important and sensitive survey and the following guidelines are highly recommended:

  • Guideline 1 - This survey should go to all employees of the organization, including workers, supervisors, managers, and senior executives. 

  • Guideline 2 - This Manager Engagement survey should be anonymous! For this reason, after the survey is conducted, the HR Manager should export the results, and make sure all references (names, positions, emails, IP addresses, etc.) are REMOVED from the survey export file before its results are inserted into the WFT_5.2a_Manager_Engagement_Estimator (.xlsx).

  • Guideline 3 -The organization's senior leaders and managers should avoid taking any steps to discover "who" input engagement scores and comments. The HR Manager should emphasize the confidentiality of the survey, and make sure that any type of identifying or demographic information about survey responders won't be used to identify specific employees, their scores and any comments they input. Protect this sensitive file from unauthorized access by those that do not have the need to know (See Team Guide for suggestions). 

Task 5.2a-2 - Input Engagement Survey data into Manager Engagement Estimator - After allowing time for all employees to complete the survey, the organization should use its www.surveymethods.com account to close and then export a spreadsheet file containing the survey results. Next, this spreadsheet file should be exported by the HR Manager (following Guidelines 2 and 3 above) and then inserted into the WFT_5.2a_Manager_Engagement_Estimator (.xlsx). 

Task 5.2a-3 - Review the WFT_5.2a_Manager_Engagement_Estimator (.xlsx). Note the model includes an example with multiple responses, scores, and comments. The output of the model organizes the scores (0-10) into three groups:

• Low Engagement - The number (and %) of responders who scored 0 to 6
• Uncommitted - The number (and %) of responders who scored 7 or 8
• High Engagement - The number (and %) of responders who scored 9 or 10

Figure 5.2a-2 is an example of the Manager Engagement Survey Dashboard 1 of 2. This dashboard shows engagement scores in three groups (low, uncommitted and high engagement)

Figure 5.2a-3 is an example of the Manager Engagement Survey Dashboard 2 of 2. This dashboard shows engagement scores by team engagement category (22 categories - unique to OE21 standards).

Figure 5.2a-2 Manager Engagement Survey Results Dashboard 1

Figure 5.2a-3 Manager Engagement Survey Results Dashboard 2

Additional comments:

  • Since the WFT 5.2a Manager Engagement (survey) is anonymous, the Leadership Focus Team (LFT) will not know who belongs to which engagement group (high, uncommitted, low).

  • The survey results include narrative improvement suggestions from all those in the Low Engagement group (0-6) and these comments should be useful in taking some interim steps to address this Low Engagement group. The LFT and HR managers should pay attention to any suggestions from the low engagement group in order to try to reduce costly terminations, replacement, and on-boarding of replacement managers and employees. 

  • The implementation of the remainder of this OE21 standard 5.2a Workforce Engagement will provide additional ideas for improving manager and employee engagement and performance.

  • PROGRESS: You have reached Milestone 1 (good work). Input the status [18%] on the organization's OE21 Intranet Main page alongside the title of this standard.

Task 5.2a-4 Assess Organizational Culture - To foster an organizational culture that is characterized by open communication, high performance, and an engaged workforce, the Workforce Focus Team (WFT) uses the results within the WFT 5.1 Voice of Workforce Assessment (survey) and the Work Unit Satisfaction Matrix that were conducted during the implementation of OE21 5.1

 

The following characteristics of the organizational culture may need to be established or improved:

 

  • Pay and pay increases

  • Processes for effective problem solving

  • Processes for effective grievance resolution

  • Worker development and career opportunities

  • Managers and supervisors management and support

  • Workplace safety and security

  • Workload

  • Communications Effectiveness

  • Workforce cooperation with workers and managers

  • Teamwork and teamwork opportunities

  • Empowerment

  • Job security

  • Appreciation of diverse workforce individuals and groups needs

The Human Resources Plan is often the ideal document for policies, procedures, and processes that relate to the organizational culture. An excellent guide for use in updating the Human Resources Plan may be found in the 2019-2020 Baldrige Framework Criteria Commentary portions of which are repeated below: 

  • High performance. The focus of this item is on a workforce capable of achieving high performance. High performance is characterized by flexibility, innovation, empowerment and personal accountability, knowledge and skill sharing, excellent communication and information flow, alignment with organizational objectives, customer focus, and rapid response to changing business needs and marketplace requirements.

 

  • Workforce engagement. Many studies have shown that high levels of workforce engagement have a significant, positive impact on organizational performance. Research has indicated that engagement is characterized by performing meaningful work; having clear organizational direction and accountability for performance; and having a safe, trusting, effective, and cooperative work environment. In many organizations, employees and volunteers are drawn to and derive meaning from their work because it is aligned with their values.

 

  • Workforce engagement drivers. Although satisfaction with pay and pay increases are important, these two factors generally are not sufficient to ensure workforce engagement and high performance. Some examples of other factors to consider are effective problem and grievance resolution; development and career opportunities; the work environment and management support; workplace safety and security; the workload; effective communication, cooperation, and teamwork; the degree of empowerment; job security; appreciation of the differing needs of diverse workforce groups; and organizational support for serving customers.

 

  • Factors inhibiting engagement. It is equally important to understand and address factors inhibiting engagement. You could develop an understanding of these factors through workforce surveys, focus groups, blogs, or exit interviews with departing workforce members.

 

  • Compensation and recognition. Compensation and recognition systems should be matched to your work systems. Compensation and recognition might be tied to demonstrated skills. Approaches might also include profit-sharing; mechanisms for expressing simple “thank yous”; rewards for the exemplary team or unit performance; and linkage to customer engagement measures, the achievement of organizational strategic objectives, or other key organizational objectives.

 

  • Other workforce engagement indicators. In addition to direct measures of workforce engagement through formal or informal surveys, other indicators include absenteeism, turnover, grievances, and strikes.

 

  • Workforce development needs. Depending on the nature of your organization’s work, workforce responsibilities, and stage of organizational and personal development, workforce development needs might vary significantly. These needs might include gaining skills for knowledge sharing, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving; interpreting and using data; exceeding customer requirements; analyzing and simplifying processes; reducing waste and cycle time; working with and motivating volunteers; and setting priorities based on strategic alignment or cost‐benefit analysis.

​​

  • Education needs might also include advanced skills in new technologies or necessary skills, such as reading, writing, language, arithmetic, and computer skills.

(End of extract from 2019–2020 Baldrige Excellence Framework Criteria Commentary)

 

  • OE21 Commentary: The OE21 Standards are aligned with the above workforce development needs, with special focus on engaging leadership, customer, operations, and workforce focus team members; and the OE21 standards include the following:

  • Knowledge sharing (of all information outputs from OE21 guideline implementation

  • Communication and teamwork within the OE21 focus teams

  • Problem-solving using OE21 guidelines and tools (led by the Operations Focus Team)

  • Interpreting and using data from outputs of OE21 guideline implementation

  • Exceeding customer requirements (led by the Customer Focus Team)

  • Analyzing and simplifying processes (using process charts and led by Operations Focus Team) 

  • Reducing waste and cycle time and costs, (led by the Operations Focus Team)

  • Setting priorities based on strategic alignment and cost-benefit analysis, led by the Leadership Focus Team, and using OE21 Strategy Development and Implementation guidelines. 

PROGRESS: The status (Milestone 2 = 55%) is input on the organization's OE21 Intranet Main page alongside the title of this standard.​​

  • PROGRESS: You have reached Milestone 2 (good work). Input the status [55%] on the organization's OE21 Intranet Main page alongside the title of this standard.

Task 5.2a-5 Implement High Performance and Rewards System - The organization uses the Work Unit High Performance and Rewards system (HPRS) process to measure and reward high performance. The HPRS process has three elements that use a provider and receiver approach to measuring performance. The provider is the Work Unit that provides its work outputs to the receiver Work Unit. The receiver Work Unit's assessment of the provider is the basis for quarterly assessment and rewards. The three elements of the system are as follows:

 

(1) Work Unit Performance Assessment (survey) - This survey captures work unit assessments (ratings on a scale of 1-5) of how well the Work Unit (WU) has performed in seven key areas:

  • AVAILABILITY - extent that the (provider) Work Unit ensures that its people and other resources were available on time when needed by the (receiver) Work Unit.

  • REQUIREMENTS - extent that the (provider) gives the acceptable customer and internal requirements to the (receiver).

  • COST - extent that the (provider) managed its costs so that the (receiver) costs are not adversely impacted.

  • SCHEDULE - extent that the (provider) completes its work on schedule or within its cycle time (Ct) requirements so that the (receiver) schedule performance is not adversely impacted. 

  • QUALITY - extent that the (provider) completed its work without causing defects, rework, waste, customer returns/rejections or other quality problems that adversely impact the (receiver) and the overall organization.

  • MANAGEMENT - extent that the (provider) manager(s) sustain good working relationships, useful guidance, collaboration, and cooperation with the (receiver) Work Unit.

  • INNOVATION - extent that the (provider) submitted useful and innovative improvement suggestions that have a positive impact on the (receiver) and the overall organization. 

The Work Unit Performance Assessment survey is exported from the survey system (www.surveymethods.com) and input into the Work Unit Performance Matrix.xlsl spreadsheet in the tab named Survey Data. 

(2) Work Unit Performance Matrix - This spreadsheet matrix displays provider and receiver work unit titles, and ratings on a scale of 1-5) of each of the seven key areas listed in item (1) above.  This matrix also displays total rating scores and percents for each provider work unit, as well as the Average of all provider work unit scores in points and percentage, and the maximum score in points. These data are automatically calculated from the Survey Data tab, described in item (1) above. The spreadsheet matrix allows for user changes to weighted points for each of the seven key areas assessed in item (1).

(3) Rewards Model - This spreadsheet model links to (provider) data from the Work Unit Performance Matrix, and uses these data to display the cumulative points earned and the percents of maximum points for each (provider) Work Unit. The model uses these points in combination with a Value of Rewards (in dollars $) provided by the Leadership Focus Team (LFT). The  model also calculates the following:

  • Maximum Reward (in dollars $) per person

  • Maximum Quarterly Points

  • Total Rewards Allocated this Quarter (in dollars $)

  • Amount Remaining for carryover to next period, (in dollars $)

  • Amount Earned by each worker (in dollars $)

  • Amount Earned by each Work Unit (in dollars $) 

The following Process Steps and responsibilities are used in the implementation of the High Performance and Rewards System:

 

Step 1 - Set Reward Period Dates and Total ($ or Points) - The Leadership Focus Team (LFT) with the assistance of the Workforce Focus Team (WFT) sets the start and finish dates for each successive Rewards Period. Rewards periods are normally set quarterly, to keep employees motivated with more frequent rewards than annual. The LFT and WFT also establish the type (dollars or points) of rewards to be rewarded as well as the amount per period. Example: $10,000 to be rewarded for each three month period.

  • NOTE: Some organizations cannot or will not reward their people with dollars. Points may be used as long as some points awarded translate to something of value to the receiver (time off; discounts, special trips, event or dinner tickets, or other appropriate rewards).

Step 2 - Create the Work Unit Value Chain - The organization uses its organization chart or organization breakdown structure, along with its accounting codes for each of its Work Units. A Work Unit is typically a group of people with similar talents or payscales, for example:

  •   Work units might be titled as design, programmers, fabrication, assembly, test, quality, inventory, delivery, support, marketing, sales, human resources, executives, accounting, finance, accounts, public relations, etc. In service organizations, work units might be titled close to services provided (sports center admin, hockey staff, hockey trainers, center maintenance, accounting, concessions, etc.).

  • Work Unit Value Chain - Value chains are used to streamline the flow of work processes from customer intake to market results as shown in Figure 5.2a-4. 

Figure 5.2a-4 Simplified Example of Work Unit Value Chain

Work Unit Value Chain (providers and receivers) - Each work unit in the value chain has a relationship to the next work unit(s) in the chain. In Figure 5.2a-4 the Customer Intake Work Unit would be the (provider) and the Design Team (the team that designs to requirements) would be the (receiver) work unit. The goal of the (receiver) work unit is to rate the performance of the (provider) work unit. 

This provider rating process continues along the chain, for example in Figure 5.2a-4:

  • Procurement (receiver) rates performance of Design (provider)

  • Fabrication (receiver) rates the performance of Procurement (provider)

  • Test (receiver) rates the performance of assembly (provider)

The whole system is based on the concept of "internal customers" - these are receivers of those who provide inputs. Just as external customers rate the performance of the provider of products or services, the "internal customers" are well-positioned to rate the performance of those they receive inputs from.

 

Step 3 - Implement the Work Unit Performance and Rewards Process - Use the Process Chart in Figure 5.2a-5 to understand and implement this detailed process. 

Figure 5.2a-5 Process Chart for Work Unit Performance and Rewards

The OE21-Process Chart(example in Figure 5.2a-5) is a spreadsheet model used to create process charts with steps, actions, performers, process time (Pt), wait time (Wt), non-value-added time(NVA) and process cycle time. The Process Chart creator and facilitator guides subject matter experts (SMEs) in creating the process steps, work units who perform the steps, and estimates of process time (Pt), wait time (Wt) and non-value added time (NVA) for each step.

The following data and information are input into the OFT 6.1a Process Designer:

 

  • Process Step number and action (e.g., input, review, decision)

  • Process Steps description

  • Process Lead and Support (people, teams or work units are typical)

  • Process Time (Pt), Wait Time (Wt) and Nov-value added Time (NVA)

 

The formula for cycle time is: Ct = Pt + Wt + NVA.

 

  • Process time (Pt) - the average time to do the step, in days, hours and fractions (of hours)

  • Wait Time (Wt) - the average time waiting after the step until starting the next step in the process, in days, hours and fractions

  • Non-Value Added time (NVA) - the time wasted doing non-value added steps, defects, rework or resolving other quality issues, in days, hours and fractions.

Cycle time (Ct) = Pt + Wt + NVA - in days, hours and fractions
 

The Work Unit Performance Process Instructions in Figure 5.2a-5 are identical to those included in the WFT 5.2a Work Unit Performance Matrix tool. These instructions introduce the recommendation to assign a Chief Engagement and Rewards Officer (CERO) role, who administers the whole process.

The guidance for the CERO role is as follows:

  • A senior manager with HR experience is recommended because HR has access to details of individual employee performance and will find it useful to learn how individuals perform together in their Work Units

  • The CERO should directly report to the CEO or President of the organization

  • The CERO is responsible for protecting performance assessment, measurements and rewards data

  • The CERO gains a good assessment of current and future talent needs within Work Units

  • The CERO can use the talent information to advise the CEO/President in talent acquisition

  • The CERO audits and validates Work Unit ratings and comments and interviews Work Units 

  • The CERO is authorized to "adjust" Work Unit ratings in the Survey Data collected

  • The CERO advises the CEO/President on the final rewards allocations and communications

During the implementation of the Work Unit Performance Process, the CERO and Facilitator (FAC) oversee surveys and input survey data into the Survey Data tab of the WFT 5.2a Work Unit Performance Matrix tool. Example results (after input of survey data) are shown in Figure 5.2a-6 Work Unit Matrix tab.  

Figure 5.2a-6 Work Unit Matrix tab (Example)

This example Work Unit Matrix shows that Work Unit Echo has the highest ratings for the quarter, and Work Unit Delta has the lowest. The role of the CERO is to validate these high and how ratings and adjust them as necessary. Since work unit ratings affect the amount of rewards that each work unit and person in that work unit receives, any CERO adjustments should be well documented and supported, then approved by the CEO/President or the Leadership Focus Team (LFT).

TREND OF WORK UNIT PERFORMANCE - The Score (64%) in right side of Figure 5.2a-6 is calculated as the number of points earned (320 is the average) divided by the maximum points:

  • 320/500 = 64%

KEY TREND: The Score at the end of each quarter is VERY useful to track over time using the PMS Trend Charts. The trend of the Scores each quarter is a good indicator of workforce performance and engagement getting better, staying the same, or getting worse as time marches on. 

SURVEY IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS (COMMENTS) - While taking the Work Unit Performance Survey the Work Units input their (provider) ratings and narrative improvement suggestions in the comments blocks of the survey. These suggestions end up in the Work Unit Matrix (Survey Results tab). The CERO, Workforce Focus Team (WFT), and Facilitator (FAC) should review, validate, and use these suggestions to improve overall Work Unit performance. Suggestions may trigger the application of the ACI Innovator (brainstorming) tools and process defined in OE21 Standard 6.1d Task 6.1d-3

The CERO and WFT benefit from the ACI-Innovator process that helps analyze and categorize suggestions, ideas, complaints, or general comments. 

Figure 5.2a-7 Rewards Model is the example of rewards that are linked to the data in Figure 5.2a-6.

Figure 5.2a-7 Work Unit Rewards Model

This example Work Unit Rewards Model shows that each person in Work Unit Echo receives the highest dollar amount per person (and team) versus all other work units. All cells are calculated from data in the Work Unit Matrix that is linked to the Rewards Model tab in the spreadsheet. The only direct input data required are:

  • Value of Rewards Offered ($10,000) - an example

  • Number of Workers/Unit - from actual workers assigned during the Period assessed (3 months)

  • Period Ends (date of the end of the 3 month period)

The CERO should keep the Reward Model tab protected and hidden from anyone except those that the CEO/President approves as "need to know - authorized for access."

About Carry Over - If all Work Units earned their maximum ratings (5 of 5) in the quarter, then the Rewards Model would allocate the entire Value of Rewards Offered by Leaders for that Period. In most cases the Work Units ratings will lower the amounts of rewards earned, leaving a balance at the end of the quarter (Amount Remaining for Carry Over). It is up the CEO/President to decide whether or not to use this carry over as part of the next periods Value of Rewards offered. The option is to adjust next periods Value up or down according to the thinking of the CEO/President, and in consideration of the CERO's advice or strategy.

 

The GOAL is to motivate high performance and engagment throughout all of the organization's Work Units. 

PROGRESS: The status (Milestone 3 = 85%) is input on the organization's OE21 Intranet Main page alongside the title of this standard.​​​

  • PROGRESS: You have reached Milestone 3 (good work). Input the status [85%] on the organization's OE21 Intranet Main page alongside the title of this standard.

Task 5.2a-6 Input tasks into Workforce Excellence Action Plan - Open the Workforce Excellence Action Plan, and add tasks, responsibilities and other information necessary to improve workforce capability and capacity, based on the results of implementing this OE21 standard.

 

  • WFT_5.1c_Workforce_Excellence_Action_Plan (.xlsx)

Task 5.2a-7 Input Metrics into the PMS - Unless the organization has its Performance Management System, the WFT uses the following Excel workbook: 

 

  • WFT_7.3_PMS_Workforce_Excellence_Metrics (.xlsx)

 

  • NOTE: This PMS workbook includes a tab named "Metrics List" that displays a table of suggested measures and goals (targets) applicable to Baldrige Items 5.1 and 5.2. The PMS workbook includes a tab named "Guidelines" that serve as a guide for selecting appropriate types and numbers of measures for this Item.  The PMS workbook contains tabs for the input of dates, measures, targets, and two benchmarks (alpha and bravo competitor or comparative organizations). The result of data entry creates a Trend Chart for each of the measures selected. All PMS Workbooks have a limit of 20 measures for each of the Focus Teams. In cases where the organization desires additional measures, the PMS Workbook may be duplicated with a different filename.

 

The WFT inputs metrics and monitors Workforce Engagement and Performance trends as they are updated. The WFT takes appropriate action to assess and improve Workforce Engagement and Performance as necessary. As a minimum, the following metrics are recommended:

 

  • ​​​​​Workforce Satisfaction (measure vs. target) - Use the Organizational Culture (Voice of Workforce surveys) and Work Unit Satisfaction Matrix scores. Set the target (goal) of 90% or higher.  

 

  • Workforce Performance Scores (total score for all Work Units derived from the Score in % computed on the Work Unit Performance Matrix (spreadsheet). This score reflects the percent of actual reward points earned for the total workforce (all work units) and is compared to a target (goal) value (e.g., 95%). Other metrics from this Matrix tool may also be added.

 

Task 5.2a-8 Review Workforce Engagement and Performance Results - On a monthly basis, the WFT reviews and manages the rates of workforce engagement and performance scores. See OE21 4.1 Task 4.1.5 for guidance. The WFT takes appropriate action to assess and improve workforce engagement and performance as well as other metrics selected from the PMS Metrics Selection Tables located in  WFT_7.3_PMS_Workforce_Excellence_Metrics (.xlsx).

Figure 5.2a-8  provides an example Trend Chart for Workforce Engagement and Performance that is an additional indicator of workforce engagement. 

  • PROGRESS: You have reached Milestone 4 (congratulations). Input the status [100%] on the organization's OE21 Intranet Main page alongside the title of this standard.

Figure 5.2a-8  Work Unit Performance Score