June 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 2 
Main Feature


Locations faring well in Employee Surveys have common behaviors

Why did some Boeing sites fare better than others in past Employee Surveys? It's not because of chance or luck.

Using 2003 Employee Survey data, the company conducted an internal study and found that there were key practices common among high-scoring locations (see below). The value of these practices was further validated against external sources.

"We've found that successful sites do not focus on just one of these practices, they tend to have an integrated, inclusive approach that weaves them together," said David Vadas, Employee Relations research analyst for Boeing.

Here are the "Six Key Differentiators" that are common among Boeing sites with high employee satisfaction scores.

  • Small-site Culture: A sense of community or connected culture (not necessarily the facility's size). Features: A proactive mentality, care for employees, pride and employees' knowledge of the business plan.
  • Leaders as Communicators: Ongoing behavior, not just at times of major change. Features: Forums for senior leaders to talk directly with employees, and leaders working to eliminate barriers to two-way communication.
  • Employee Involvement: Decision making is encouraged at the level closest to the activity. Features: Every employee has the opportunity and accountability for the design, execution and continuous improvement of his/her work.
  • Recognition: Recognition is a site priority. Features: Site-specific recognition, and employees are involved in determining some awards.
  • Job Strategy Alignment: There is a clear link between each employee's work and the unit's business strategy. Features: Measurement of employee performance against goals, and ongoing communications with employees about changing business conditions and operating results.
  • Visible Metrics: All important actions are measured. Features: Measures are visible and understood by all employees, and employees have an impact on what's measured.

For more information, visit the Employee Engagement section of the Employee Relations site on the Boeing Web, at http://wea.web.boeing.com/key-diff.html (internal link only).

Macon: Big acclaim for a small facility

Big acclaim for a small facilityWith about 600 employees, Boeing's Macon, Ga., site might be small in size. But its many accomplishments include being named one of the 10 best manufacturing plants in North America by IndustryWeek magazine in 2004. Macon, which builds structural subassemblies for the C-17 airlifter and the Apache and Chinook rotorcraft, earned Employee Satisfaction Index scores in the 70s in 2003 and 2004. Those figures made Macon among Boeing's best-scoring sites.

Macon representatives credit this success to a team-based culture that "promotes decision-making and accountability throughout the organization," said Al Stewart, a Community Relations/Government Affairs specialist. The teams choose their own leaders and maintain Employee Involvement team boards to track their goals and performance metrics.

"We encourage employees to be proactive," said Site Leader Obie Jones. "When they see a problem or have an idea about process improvements, they take the initiative to start the corrective action process or incorporate improvement ideas through the proper channels."

At Macon, all jobs are thought of as equally important, and the person who does the job is considered the expert for that job. The message is reinforced through common benefits for all employees regardless of position or classification. In fact, there is no reserved parking for anyone, including Jones, except for the Employee of the Month.

—Maribeth Bruno


At Long Beach, it's about involvement

Clydel Legaux Jr. (left) and Menh Vuong discuss the Wing-Rear Spar Seal ProcessIntegrated Defense Systems in Long Beach, Calif.—home of the C-17 and Airlift & Tanker programs—was one of the first Boeing sites to implement Employee Involvement, under the leadership of Director Ed Schaniel. The site is marking the 10-year anniversary of its transformation from "command and control" to a team-based culture, said EI lead Rich Nicholson, and the effort is paying off.

On the 2004 Employee Survey, IDS Long Beach scored three to four points higher than the overall IDS group scores in areas including leadership focus and running a healthy business, and its 2003 Employee Satisfaction Index was 69.

Each of Long Beach's roughly 600 EI teams documents team-based business improvements and empowerment plans. This work lets them "manage their business day to day, freeing up the first-line managers to work on strategic issues and development," Nicholson said.

Teams also take the initiative on workplace issues. That's led to solutions such as an employee center with access to computers and fax machines; a veterans' committee and color guard; and a badge attachment with key medical information.

—Maribeth Bruno

Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.