Businessolver Blog

Taking the Baldrige Journey

Taking the Baldrige Journey
Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 by Natalie McLinden
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Over the past several months here at Businessolver, we have been vigorously working toward organizational excellence and quality.

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As our business continues to grow, it’s becoming more and more important to scale smartly; investing now in creating quality process initiatives will keep everything running smoothly into the future, for our employees and our clients. We’ve set a high bar for ourselves, making a company-wide commitment to meet the standards set in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes U.S. organizations for performance excellence, with a purpose of identifying and recognizing role-model businesses, establishing criteria for evaluating performance excellence, and sharing best practices.

Organizations that apply for the Baldrige Award are judged by independent board of examiners looking for recipients that create, deploy, improve, and measure systematic processes in seven categories:

  1. Leadership
  2. Strategic planning
  3. Customer and market focus
  4. Human resource focus
  5. Process management
  6. Business/Organizational performance results and measurement
  7. Analysis and knowledge management.

Earlier this year, we took the first step in our Baldrige journey and were recognized by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad at the Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence (Iowa Baldrige). We’ve worked hard to sustain our commitment to quality since then, and this week, we are proud to submit our first Baldrige application for review.

To prepare for our application – and truly put our quality commitment into action – we’ve made key changes within our organization, increasing our use of checklists, documentation and QA processes. To keep everyone on their toes and have a little fun, we’ve hosted internal quality competitions where teams can win prizes for process. And it’s working: Quality scores for our teams have been steadily climbing even just in the first few months.

Each team within the company has signed a declaration of quality to confirm our quality promise to clients, members, partners, stakeholders, and most importantly, each other. These signed quality promises can be found hanging in each team’s area (our remote employees included!).

Whether we ultimately win the National Quality Award or not (as a first-time applicant, we’re a long shot), I think all of us Solvers agree that the real value is already visible in all of our process improvements. We have the framework. We have the tools. We have the team. We have the commitment. We are in it together – dedicated and committed to delivering a consistent, positive client-member experience.

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