Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


The Official Baldrige Blog

Engagement red word on compass
Credit: donskarpo/Shutterstock

OK, I took a little poetic license with the second "K" in the title; it looked nice! I can brag about the BPEP staff (including its leadership) because I am not part of the survey group below; I retired from Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) employment in 2013.

Employee Engagement

The federal government conducts an annual survey of all federal employees. The results are in for 2019 and BPEP might well have set the benchmark for the government. I have to apologize because I cannot say that with certainty; all the comparative data I have are averages.  (I feel the pain of all Baldrige Excellence Framework users who seek top quartile and top decile comparisons.) The survey had 71 questions. Results are reported by indices that aggregate by topic across survey categories, by overall category responses, and by individual engagement drivers.

Let me share some results: 

Measure (% Positive) Government wide NIST* BPEP
Employee Engagement Index 68 75 95
Global Satisfaction Index 65 74 97
Effective Communication Index 67 71 96
Inclusion Quotient (Index) 62 70 91
My Work Experience Category 73 70 82
My Supervisor Category 75 79 99
Average Category Score (all categories) 63 73 86
Collaboration/Empowerment/ Communication  60 70 93

Performance Feedback 

74 79 100
Results Driven 71 73 100
Teamwork 77 82 100

*NIST = National Institute of Standards and Technology, BPEP's home agency

Does it make sense to internalize the Baldrige Excellence Framework and make it the way you work? I would have to reply with a resounding "yes." The most striking difference among the three groups is that BPEP uses the Baldrige Excellence Framework to guide its operations and decision making. While I can't speak to the whole federal government, I do know that both NIST and BPEP strive to select the right people with the traits and baseline skills needed to fill their jobs. That might be part of the explanation why both NIST and BPEP exceed government-wide performance.

Customer Engagement

There are many studies that demonstrate a correlation between employee engagement and customer engagement. Let me share some customer results for BPEP's customer engagement. I will first share some recent Net Promoter Scores (for comparison the NPS for Tesla is 97, Starbucks is 77, and USAA is 65):

  • Baldrige Executive Fellows Program 100
  • Likelihood to recommend the Baldrige Excellence Framework 86
  • Baldrige Quest for Excellence Conference 59 (93% rated it valuable/very valuable)

And here are some data from the survey of Baldrige Award applicants (over the life of the Program) on per cent of applicants who agreed that the use of Baldrige improved their:

  • outcomes/results 100
  • revenue/market growth 96
  • customer satisfaction/engagement 100
  • workforce satisfaction/engagement/retention 100
  • community support/relationships 91

Building Employee Engagement

While there are detailed questions in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, let me share some basic workforce engagement questions from the Baldrige Excellence Builder, an introductory set of criteria questions. Considering these questions could help your organization achieve results like my colleagues (no k this time) have achieved:

  • How do you recruit, hire, and onboard new workforce members?
  • How do you organize and manage your workforce?
  • How do you determine the key drivers of workforce engagement?
  • How do you foster an organizational culture that is characterized by open communication, high performance, and an engaged workforce?
  • How do you manage career development for your workforce and your future leaders?

And it all starts with the leadership:

  • How do senior leaders' personal actions demonstrate their commitment to legal and ethical behavior?
  • How do senior leaders communicate with and engage the entire workforce, key partners, and key customers?
  • How do senior leaders create an environment for success now and in the future?
  • How do senior leaders create a focus on action that will achieve the organization's mission?

Finally, let me take the discussion to a "higher plane" and relate the challenges of workforce engagement to some of the Baldrige Core Values:

2019-2020 Baldrige Framework Role of Core Values and Concepts JPEG Download

Visionary Leadership
Your organization's senior leaders should set a vision for the organization, create a customer focus, demonstrate clear and visible organizational values and ethics, and set high expectations for the workforce

Valuing People
A successful organization values its workforce members and the other people who have a stake in the organization.

Societal Contributions
Your organization's leaders should stress contributions to the public and the consideration of societal well-being and benefit.

Ethics and Transparency
Your organization should stress ethical behavior by all workforce members in all stakeholder transactions and interactions. Senior leaders should be role models of ethical behavior, including transparency.

Obviously, no organization is perfect in all these considerations, including BPEP. However, honestly addressing them may be your next step toward higher performance. Again, my congrats to the wonderful Baldrige team!

2019-2020 Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit cover artwork

Baldrige Excellence Framework

The Baldrige Excellence Framework has empowered organizations to accomplish their missions, improve results, and become more competitive. It includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your processes and results.

Purchase your copy today!

Available versions: Business/Nonprofit, Education, and Health Care

About the author

Harry Hertz “The Baldrige Cheermudgeon”

I am Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon, and Director Emeritus of the Baldrige Program. I joined the Program in 1992 after a decade in management in the analytical chemistry and chemical sciences laboratories at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the home of the Baldrige Program. I started my career at NIST (NBS) as a bench analytical chemist.

My favorite aspects of the Baldrige Program are: (1) the opportunity to interact with leading thinkers from all sectors of the U.S. economy who serve as volunteers in the Baldrige Program, who participate in the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, and who represent Award applicants at the forefront of the continuous journey to performance excellence, and (2) the intellectual challenge of synthesizing ideas from leading thinkers and from personal research into Insights on the Road to Performance Excellence and other blogs that tackle challenges at the “leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice,” and contribute to the continuous revision of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework.

Outside of work I spend my time with family (including three beautiful granddaughters), exercising, baking bread, traveling, educating tomorrow’s leaders, and participating on various boards and board committees.

Related posts


Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Please be respectful when posting comments. We will post all comments without editing as long as they are appropriate for a public, family friendly website, are on topic and do not contain profanity, personal attacks, misleading or false information/accusations or promote specific commercial products, services or organizations. Comments that violate our comment policy or include links to non-government organizations/web pages will not be posted.