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UTMB Taps EEA, Engagement Agency to Launch Healthcare, Hospitality Engagement Advisory Practice

The new advisory service launched by HMI, co-founders of the first ISO human resources 260 standards and ISO 10018 Quality People Management certification, will help healthcare and hospitality organizations apply a formal framework to significantly improve organizational performance and stakeholder satisfaction.


Healthcare Management InstituteUTMB Health

Enterprise Engagement AllianceThe Engagement Agency

The Healthcare Management Institute of the University of Texas Medical Branch has created the first Healthcare and Hospitality Enterprise Engagement (EE) Advisory Practice to help these organizations improve performance and stakeholder experiences through a systematic approach to human capital management. The process is based on ISO 10018 Quality People Management standards developed by the same ISO organization that helped transform quality process management throughout the world, and the Enterprise Engagement framework and implementation process developed in 2008 by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance at TheEEA.org that was the first to incorporate a holistic approach to all stakeholders. 

The Healthcare and Hospitality EE Advisory Practice provides institutions a complete or unbundled service that includes return-on-investment and gap analysis; engagement business plan design, starting with definition of objectives, the brand, culture and values, and incorporating all critical engagement tactics and outcome measurements; project management; and managed outsourcing when required. For complete information on the service, click here.

A Unit of the University of Texas Medical Branch

The new UTMB Enterprise Engagement Advisory Practice, wholly owned by the University of Texas, will license the use of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance not-for-profit online learning platform at TheEEA.org; its Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap reference book; and the support services of the EEA’s parent company, The Engagement Agency LLC, to provide organizations a sensible, auditable process for achieving financial and organizational goals and maximizing the experience for all stakeholders, from patients, customers, and employees to vendors, volunteers and communities. The University of Texas Medical Branch is one of the largest healthcare institutions in Texas supported by signiifcant hospitality services. 

In addition to education provided by the EEA, HMI’s EE Advisory Practice includes strategic process design to achieve key objectives, including brand, culture and values definition for the entire organization, a strategic plan with return-on-investment (ROI), outsourced-services management in all areas of engagement and ongoing oversight to ensure effective implementation. The founders believe that the Enterprise Engagement process can be used to improve the design and return on investment of traditional recognition, incentive, communications, innovation, learning platforms, and other traditional engagement tools.

Explains Dr. Ron McKinley, Vice President, and Chief Standards Officer of HMI and Chief Advisor for the service, “Our aim is to provide the same systematic approach to achieving results through people that ISO 9001 originally developed to transform Quality Management starting in the 1980s. We are focusing on the health care and hospitality fields because we have extensive experience in those areas and there are many overlaps in terms of engagement issues. Whether or not an organization chooses to undergo the process and audit to achieve an ISO 10018 certification it can use for marketing, compliance and risk mitigation, there’s an enormous potential to improve outcomes in patient care and satisfaction, employee engagement, safety, wellness and financial results by applying a common-sense approach that utilizes resources already in place in a more systematic, connected manner offering a better experience for everyone.” A systematic approach, he believes, can actually reduce investments related to engaging patients, customers, and communities over time.

A Virtuous Circle of Financial and Quality of Life Benefits

The benefits, McKinley says, include:

  • Higher patient and customer satisfaction, faster Medicare reimbursements for healthcare institutions, more referrals for elective and outpatient procedures and less need to invest in difficult to measure advertising and outreach efforts.
  • Higher patient, customer, employee and community engagement, satisfaction, as well as higher referral scores.
  • Higher talent retention, lower turnover and recruitment costs.
  • Higher safety and wellness scores, and less absenteeism with lower insurance costs over time.
  • Better internal customer service and less workplace aggravation.
  • Lower risk of employee-caused hazards and litigation.
  • More productive community service efforts.
  • A means of objectively assessing and auditing engagement efforts on an ongoing basis with a respected ISO 10018 certification that can be used for disclosures to boards, regulators, communities, employees, patients and vendors.

 “Companies often look for a ‘bright shiny object’ when it comes to engaging people,” McKinley notes. “In truth, having a well-defined system is the most effective bright shiny object, a fact proven by the undeniable improvements in quality improvement achieved by the ISO 9001 Quality Process Management standards.”

A Proactive, Systematic Approach Versus Ad Hoc and Reactive

What’s unique, Dr. McKinley explains, “is a systematic approach that looks at an institution’s or organization's goals and objectives and its brand, culture and values to unite all of its stakeholders, and develop a process that aligns and connects the brand across traditional external and internal engagement tactics from advertising and promotions to corporate social responsibility, as well as many things that get siloed in most organizations such as leadership, recruitment, coaching and assessment; engagement surveys and feedback; communications in every form; learning and development; job design; innovation; rewards and recognition; analytics; and more. Organizations do a lot of these things, but often in an ad hoc, reactive manner. Our approach is proactive, collaborative and systems-division.”

The HMI's EE Advisory Practice at UTMB will provide turnkey or unbundled services designed to help organizations significantly improve the economics and stakeholder experience through a process that includes:

  • Determination of goals and objectives.
  • Senior executive meeting facilitation for gap analysis and research.
  • Creation of an Engagement Business Plan with implementation process and ROI.
  • High level project management and ROI analysis.
  • Managed outsourcing of engagement products and services as required.
  • Speaking at events to help convey the vision and plan of the strategy.

An Open Source Approach

McKinley emphasizes that both employers and solution-providers benefit because ISO 10018 Quality People Management standards are open source. “No one is ever dependent on any one consultant or approach. The standards can be purchased online at ISO.org for about $180, and training from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance starts at $36 for Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap, and $125 for individuals seeking individual certification. For most organizations, annual audits and certifications for ISO can average $5,000 to $10,000 per year if they bake the process into their operational plan, and there isn’t even a requirement that they gain ISO certification if they don’t choose to do so. This is how standards have succeeded in the realm of quality management. It just so happens that an important by-product beyond the financial results and efficiencies is a better experience for everyone involved with the organization, and the value that ISO 9001 has established for Quality Management that ISO 10018 will underline for Quality People Management.”

This explains why HMI’s International Center for Enterprise Engagement (ICEE) will share all its intellectual property on ISO 10018 Quality People Management with both employers and solution-providers at its Enterprise Engagement in Action Conference, May 7-8, as part of Engagement World, May 7-9 in Galveston. Bruce Bolger, a Senior Advisor for the Healthcare EE Advisory Practice, believes the nascent field of engagement has been hurt by the lack of a formal framework and implementation process, “including countless employee engagement surveys never acted upon, or ad hoc benefits or reactive policies lacking any clear mission, conviction, or measurable outcome. ISO standards bring order to a process that has unique financial and quality of life benefits.”

The Relationship With Enterprise Engagement Alliance and The Engagement Agency

McKinley explains why the Healthcare EE Advisory Practice is partnering with the Enterprise Engagement Alliance and The Engagement Agency for education and support services: “As experienced practitioners involved with running human resources in large organizations, we recognize the issues related to educating senior and front-line management and all stakeholders on the Enterprise Engagement economics, benefits and approach, not to mention breaking down silos to achieve greater efficiencies. Our forebearers in Quality Management faced that challenge and generally overcame it by having an agreed-upon general framework and nomenclature. The key is to have an implementation process and resources in place, and to agree once and for all that performance is in fact fundamentally based on the ability to engage and equip people. The Enterprise Engagement Alliance began developing that as early as 2008, long before others recognized the need for a systematic, connected approach to the engagement of all stakeholders.”

McKinley elaborates: “Just as it would have been impossible to create the International Center for Enterprise Engagement and the ISO 10018 certification without the education platform the Enterprise Engagement Alliance has already developed, we couldn’t have created the Healthcare EE Advisory Practice without those same educational platforms. Moreover, the EEA’s Engagement Agency advisory service has 10 years of front-line experience related to nurturing the development of this integrated, systematic approach to performance through people that is available nowhere else. They have developed a wide network of solution-providers, combined with an ability to understand customer needs to support an incomparable managed outsourcing business.”

For more information, contact Nick Gazivoda, Vice President of Sales, Enterprise Engagement Alliance at Nick@TheEEA.org or 914-591-7600, ext. 238. 

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