Baldrige Recognition

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Baldrige Recognition - National Leadership Meeting

The Baldridge Recognition started in 1987 to recognize quality management for U.S. companies. The award can be given on a yearly basis to a company in manufacturing, service, small business, education, healthcare and nonprofit. Making the Baldridge Recognition questionnaire a part of how the company operates makes the process easier.


There are seven categories in the Baldwin Recognition rubric that are judges. While there are specific categories, an organization can be flexible to use its own approach. In reviewing the case studies of four of the current winners, the high-level common characteristics of the winners include satisfaction of stakeholders, employees, customers, community members, and owners; innovative processes or outcomes; strategic planning; excellent workplace culture, outstanding leadership development; operational excellence; and meaningful contributions to the community.


The criteria for judging of the Baldridge Recognition include seven categories for excellence.

1) Leadership: What is the organization management doing to lead the organization how is the organization leading its community.

2) Strategy: What is the established, planned, and implemented strategic direction?

3) Customers: What is the organization doing to build and maintain relationships with customers that are strong and lasting?

4) Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management: What is the organization doing with the data it uses to support its key processes and management performance?

5) Workforce: What is the organization doing to empower and involve its employees?

6) Operations: What is the organization doing with its key processes to design, manage, and improve?

7) Results: What are the organizations results in customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how does it compare to its competitors.

Winner Characteristics

Characteristics of winners include each of the following categories.

1) Satisfaction of stakeholders, employees, customers, community members, and owners. BTES exemplifies this with is 100 percent customer and employee retention and the $70 million it has saved its customers over the past 40 years by improving services.

2) Innovative processes or outcomes- Stellar Solutions has developed a humanitarian R&D program to help predict earthquakes.

3) Strategic planning; excellent workplace culture- Stellar includes all stakeholders and employees in strategic planning meetings.

4) Outstanding leadership development- BTES engages employees with reviews, retention, and attendance. 75% of its employees have perfect attendance.

5) Operational excellence- BTES has a 99.99 ASAI measurement and for the past 3 years has kept customer outage to 60 minutes or under per year.

6) Meaningful contributions to the community- Stellar makes contributions to charities based on each employee's recommendation and encourages employee participation as well.

The 2017 winners had the following in common. The companies focused on long-term goals instead of short-term gains. Each of them as a culture of actively collaborating with employees, customers, and stakeholders. The corporations strongly and actively participate in the community. The companies have a relentless focus on operational excellence.

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

BTES is a 2017 award winner of the Baldridge National Quality Award. The company is a utility company that provides electricity and fiber services to 33,000 customers. Services are provided by a 68 person staff offering the fastest internet available in the U. S at 10 Gigabits per second. The efficiencies they have implemented over the last 40 years have saved its customers nearly $70 million. All with a nearly perfect 100 in customer satisfaction in product and performance.

BTES highlights are its reliability, innovation of technologies, and benchmark performance. The company continues to decrease outage minutes and has 60 minutes or fewer per year goal for each of its customers. BTES has exceeded this each of the past 3 years and is far above the industry standard of 90-100 minutes. This is just one of the many customer service features that BTES tries to stay well beyond the industry standard. The retention rate of customers is 100 percent while the national average is 82 percent. In the operational area, BTES has not lost a single workday in over a year and in the past 35 years have only had two safety-related incidents that caused a loss in work days. The company has an ASAI (Average Service Availability Index) of 99.99, which measures its preparedness.

The company measures employee engagement with performance appraisals, retention, and attendance. About 75 of BTES employees have perfect attendance while the industry average is 20 percent. They have also achieved 100 percent in employee retention. Being a family-oriented team, they share accountability and make the organization's vision a major focus "to be the best electric, Internet, telephone, and cable television provider".

The market share for electrical services solely belongs to BTES at 100%. Internet service holds strong at 75%, and telephone and cable services are at 60% and 70% respectively.

The company's debt ratio is at .1 and with an increase in net revenue to $112 million, BTES has had a positive net income for the past 40 years.


Fortune magazine named the company a great place to work from 2014 to 2017. They are ranked in the 95th percentile in this area. Almost 100% of employees feel management support them and 100% of the company's customers stated they would recommend them to others for the past 3 years. On a scale of 1 to 5, Stellar Solutions ranks at 4.7 in customer satisfaction. Stellar is using the expertise of its engineers to help predict earthquakes and have established a humanitarian R&D program called Quakefinder.

Stellar donates $1000 to the charity of each of its employee's choices and encourages employees to participate as well. The company's revenue had increases in 2013 at 1.18% and an astounding 6.81% in 2016. In order to include everyone in strategic planning for the company, Stellar reaches out to all stakeholders and employees via emails and meetings.

Adventist HealthCare

Adventist is constantly pursuing quality improvement, focusing on its mission, its leadership and improving financial performance. The company worked to achieve an employee engagement above the industry standard while still focusing on caring for its patient's needs.

The company has less than 1% of its patients obtain hospital-related infections or injuries. It has improved performance by 12% in the past two years, putting them in the top quartile. Adventist has also been in the top 3 healthcare organizations for the past 3 years.

Employee engagement is achieved through focusing on the culture of the company, which its senior leaders make leaps and bounds. It has 90-day action items and work improvement plans. The company's accountability measures as reported by The Joint Commission are 99.5% and the company is recognized as a top performer.

Adventist has had a majority market share of over 60% since 2009 for overall inpatient care and it's women's and cardiac care. The facility has saved 33,000 lives to date with its care.


Stellar Solutions was honored by the award and its CEO stated that they work hard each day to impact and live the company vision. She stated that the framework of the Baldridge Recognition was important in the making of the Stellar Solutions business model and his made it successful. Because of the Baldridge Recognition standard of excellence, the CEO said she was drawn to it. She said it allowed the company to look at processes and enhance ones that were working and fix ones that weren't.


When the company leadership of Stellar first looked at applying, they didn't think it would work for the company because they weren't special and different. The CEO of Stellar stated that the process makes you really look at your processes in a long-term fashion. Lastly, she said the award is the ultimate honor for the company because it shows it is an excellent organization and is sustainable.


Celeste Ford at Stellar said while the process is long, it is achievable. She states that they didn't have a Baldridge Recognition applying department that did all the work. Ms. Ford said the criteria shouldn't be the icing on the cake, it should be the cake. It needs to be how you operate. If it is, it makes the process much easier.


In summary, we have identified the characteristics of winners of the Baldridge Recognition and given examples of how the companies achieve this success with the 100% satisfaction rating of its customers and employees. It takes making your satisfaction results way above the industry standard and making the Baldridge Recognition not be the icing on the cake, but making your operation the cake. The process is much easier when you are focusing on the criteria on a daily basis because it makes long-term sustainability for the company.