Prioritizing People and Optimizing Opportunities: Employee Empowered Excellence

When Lean Six Sigma process engineers Sara Briechle and Lesley Tabler joined NEOMED in February, they were excited at the opportunity to play a pivotal role in empowering University employees to make positive change in their work areas. Upon meeting with President Langell, Briechle (a senior process engineer) and Tabler (a process engineer) saw that there weren’t a lot of data-driven decisions being made at NEOMED.  They felt that Lean Six Sigma's principles and tools, along with project mentoring, would equip staff with the know-how and confidence to optimize the University's processes.

They didn’t have as much time as they expected to get started. Just a few months in, Briechle and Tabler experienced huge interest by staff and faculty for continuous improvement methods. When COVID-19 shut down campuses and businesses they quickly implemented an on-demand training for more than 50 employees and others outside the University who needed to stay home. They soon realized something even greater: As individuals learn and utilize the Lean Six Sigma tools, they feel energized in ways that Briechle and Tabler hadn’t anticipated. 

With these almost instant results it became clear to Briechle and Tabler that the methodological framework of LSS could not only help leaders and staff make data-driven decisions, but also to realize Dr. Langell’s vision for the University. 

“President Langell certainly wanted us to use this methodological framework to help solve some of those organizational challenges,” said Briechle. “But even more important is his vision of a community of thought where employees ― staff and faculty, and future health professionals ―would feel empowered with those tools to excel and have a positive impact on the organization.”

With that in mind, Briechle and Tabler felt it was important to brand the continuous improvement work to be reflective of what is already being accomplished: Employee Empowered Excellence.

“We’re really prioritizing people and optimizing opportunities,” adds Tabler. “And with that, we will have many reasons to celebrate excellence and recognize those who have been empowered to make it possible.”

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