Help your Workforce Contribute to Success

Workforce Contribution

Workforce engagement is essential for organizational success.  Their value to the success of the organization is measured by their contribution.  The basic Criteria questions for Category 5 are:

5.1 Workforce Environment: How do you build an effective and supportive workforce environment?

5.2 Workforce Engagement: How do you engage your workforce for retention and high performance?

Integration to Contribution

Now how do we answer these two questions with Integration?  The answer is simple – Integrate!

Get them involved in what you’re trying to accomplish as an organization.  Communicate your Purpose, Mission, Vision, Values.  Make sure they understand your Core Competencies and the related Strategic Advantages with the persistent nagging Strategic Challenges (aka, Opportunities).

Tie these guiding principles and the strategic insights to their ability to contribute to organizational success.  Figure 1 provides an example of this approach.  Theoretically, you would capture the contribution of each employee and periodically update with changes and needed improvements.

  • When engaging new employees, capture their potential contribution(s).
  • Changes to guiding principles and strategic initiatives will trigger updates.
  • New information is captured when an individual transitions to a new or broadening role.

While acknowledging employee contribution is very important, a focus on learning, growing, and developing should become the drive for both individual success as well as organizational maturity.

This approach must be used for leaders, the workforce, strategic partners, the governance board, and could be expanded to overall work systems and key suppliers.  These thoughts drive us back to some definitions found below.


Figure 1 – Example,

Integration to Contribution




ALIGNMENT: A state of consistency among plans, processes, information, resource decisions, workforce capability and capacity, actions, results, and analyses that support key organization-wide goals.

COLLABORATORS: Organizations or individuals who cooperate with your organization to support a particular activity or event or who cooperate intermittently when their short-term goals are aligned with or are the same as yours.

CORE COMPETENCIES. Your organization’s areas of greatest expertise; those strategically important, possibly specialized capabilities that are central to fulfilling your mission or that provide an advantage in your marketplace or service environment.

INTEGRATION: The harmonization of plans, processes, information, resource decisions, workforce capability and capacity, actions, results, and analyses to support key organization-wide goals.

LEARNING: New knowledge or skills acquired through evaluation, study, experience, and innovation.

MISSION. Your organization’s overall function.

PARTNERS: Key organizations or individuals who are working in concert with your organization to achieve a common goal or improve performance.

Purpose. Refers to the fundamental reason that the organization exists.

STRATEGIC ADVANTAGES. Those marketplace benefits that exert a decisive influence on your organization’s likelihood of future success.

STRATEGIC CHALLENGES. Those pressures that exert a decisive influence on your organization’s likelihood of future success.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES. The aims or responses that your organization articulates to address major change or improvement, competitiveness or social issues, and business advantages.

SYSTEMATIC: Well-ordered and repeatable, using data and information, so that learning is possible.

VALUES. The guiding principles and behaviors that embody how your organization and its people are expected to operate.

VISION. Your organization’s desired future state.

WORK SYSTEMS: The coordinated combination of internal work processes and external resources that you need to develop and produce products, deliver them to your customers, and succeed in your marketplace.

These combined definitions touch on the topic of unity, learning, collaboration, and yes – integration.

The definition for “systematic” is included (above) because it should be considered interactively with integration when an organization thinks of how to accomplish its organizational Purpose.

Story for Integration

The definition for “work systems” was added to the Criteria many years ago.  The Case Study that year was a theoretical nonprofit organization that provided support to the food insecure.  The case study focused on the organization’s approaches and results, but overall did not discuss their so-called partners, who distributed the food product as it was released from the case study organization.

Figure 2 – Work System for Food Insecure

These “distributors” were in difference geographic regions and had drastically difference approaches to move the food into the hands of the needy.  The lesson learned was that management did not see how the integration (harmonization) of these distributors into an overall work system would provide better results.

Use this approach to help you refine and build new strength and maturity within your organization.  A new post in the series Integration within the Organization is coming next week.  Hope to see you there.


[i] Definitions and text adapted and based on the Baldrige Criteria – 2021-2022 Baldrige Excellence Framework


Paul Dreiss

Quality Advisor

Paul Dreiss has a proven track record of establishing and revitalizing organizational quality systems in multiple industries and service organizations. Two areas of focus include: Quality Management System – Developed organizational policies, procedures and work instructions that your…