Congratulations to our 2005 Award Winners! Learn how their service excellence to their organization won them the Department of the Year Award.
Holy Family University is a fully accredited Catholic, private, co-educational, four year university that provides liberal arts and professional programs for more than 3,000 students. Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1954, Holy Family functioned early on as an affiliate of the Catholic University of America. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Teneor Votis, the university motto, illustrates the ideals of Holy Family. In translation, “I am bound by my responsibilities.” It serves as a reminder of the university objective to develop within the students a deep consciousness to their responsibilities to themselves, to others, to their country and to their God.
Despite the limited resources associated with many non-profit institutions, Holy Family University’s Human Resources Department is making a difference for the 300 full time and 100 part-time employees they serve. Under the leadership of Renee Rosenfeld, AVP HR, who joined Holy Family six years ago, the Human Resources department of three has made great progress. Team members include Gerri Hand, Human Resources Representative, and Mary Krasnopolski, Payroll Representative.
Prior to Renee’s arrival, the current management team had not experienced the same level of respect or credibility as they have discovered with Renee and her staff. The university is currently in a growth period and Renee and her staff have been, and continue to be, an integral part of this process.
Holy Family University, a ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, has a mission “to offer education in the liberal arts and professions through graduate, undergraduate, and non-degree programs. As a Catholic University, Holy Family seeks direction and inspiration from the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, affirms the values of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and witnesses to the dignity of each person and the oneness of the human family. Holy Family University educates students to assume lifelong responsibilities towards God, society, and self.” Core values by which the university carries out this mission include family, respect, integrity, service and responsibility, learning and vision.
Renee supports this mission and lives these values as an integral part of the management team. She reports directly to the Vice President for Finance & Administration, who, along with other key members of management including the President, has come to rely on her help and guidance with day to day and major strategic issues. She is also an integral part of the school’s strategic planning process which includes definitive deliverables concerning people, such as orienting new and potential staff members to the mission of the school, fostering a learning environment, recruiting a diverse staff that can relate to the increasingly diverse student body, and developing a new recognition and rewards program for employees.
The Human Resources department has helped to improve staff morale immeasurably to the point where a majority of employees frequently attend non-mandatory school events. A significant number of employees voluntarily donate money to the school. Turnover is exceedingly low at 1.1% in 2004 and less than 1% in 2005. Renee carefully benchmarks compensation and benefits to be sure basic employee needs are covered. She and her staff regularly visit the satellite campuses so that remote employees feel more connected.
Finally, Holy Family’s Human Resources department has received high marks from the Middle States Association of Higher Education upon their review of the entire school. This is an indication of being “best in class” within their own industry.
As the school continues to grow and change, Human Resources is very well prepared to support and enhance the success of these initiatives. We congratulate them and wish them continued success.
UbiquiTel is the exclusive provider of Sprint PCS wireless services to midsize and smaller markets in the Western and Midwestern United States. Their primary objective is building and maintaining the wireless network in their markets as well as acquiring new customers. They began operations with the opening of a corporate office in Pennsylvania in January, 2000. They have grown to a team of approximately 500 employees working in 50 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada, California, Utah, Idaho and Washington.
UbiquiTel is the exclusive provider of Sprint PCS wireless services to midsize and smaller markets in the Western and Midwestern US. Since opening their Corporate offices in PA in January, 2000, UbiquiTel has grown to over 500 employees working in 50 locations throughout PA and eight other states. With employees distributed in so many locations across four time zones, even routine Human Resource actions become challenging. Accordingly, the ability of UbiquiTel’s Human Resource function to advance the state of Human Resource Management and to establish itself as a full partner at the senior management level deserves recognition.
Innovative HR policies and practices, including 360 leadership feedback, “stay” interviews, behavioral panel interviews and business oriented compensation systems have reduced employee turnover by 20%. Additionally, the implementation of three new feedback initiatives has enabled the HR department to obtain valuable and ongoing employee feedback to every aspect of UbiquiTel’s management, its HR function, and the effectiveness of systems, policies and procedures. All feedback is openly shared not only with managerial and executive personnel, but with all employees.
HR developed and initiated a 360 manager feedback tool in which each leader has 15-20 surveys completed. Summary information is compiled and HR meets with each leader to share the results and provide an individualized packet including developmental feedback and action items.
UbiquiTel developed a comprehensive menu of benefits that helps UbiquiTel compete with companies significantly larger. Benefits include not only the standard health and welfare benefits, but also a 401k plan with immediate eligibility, an Employee Stock Purchase Plan with immediate eligibility, and broad based stock option grants. Results of their 2005 Employee Survey indicates an overall satisfaction rating for benefits of 90%.
On the “transactional” side, HR has implemented a Web based employee satisfaction survey, web based access to all benefit information, initial new hire enrollment, life status changes, open enrollment, etc., access to 401(k) and employee stock purchase plan, payroll time keeping system and self service payroll system for all employees. With employees scattered across nine states, technology applications have increased productivity not only for HR, but for the enterprise itself.
UbiquiTel has come a long way from the early days in 2000 with comprehensive performance management programs, 360 leadership feedback, employees satisfaction surveys with 98.76% participation, business oriented employee recognition systems, comprehensive benefit programs and an overhauled compensation structure.
The Human Resource function at UbiquiTel had established itself as a charter member of the executive management team and, as a result, enjoys the full support of not only employees and managers, but the CEO and COO as well.
Telerx is a leading outsource partner that provides world-class customer care services on behalf of some of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer products and durable goods including food and beverages, personal care products, electronics, appliances, toys and home improvement products-as well as pharmaceutical companies that produce prescription and over-the-counter medications.
By carefully managing consumer interactions, Telerx protects and maximizes the investment client companies make in their own brand building.
As a specialist, Telerx’s dedicated client teams of highly trained customer service representatives increase customer satisfaction-and, thereby brand value, by interfacing with customers via toll-free numbers, Internet, email, white mail, and fax. They educate consumers about the products they use everyday-answering questions about how to use and where to find products. They work exclusively on behalf of one client, becoming experts in that company’s products and serving its frontline to consumers.
Telerx Corporation, a wholly owned independent subsidiary of Merck and Co., Inc. is the preeminent specialist in customer care outsourcing. Major market-leading manufacturers of consumer brands hire Telerx to take care of their consumers.
Telerx Corporation’s HR Department not only has a “seat at the table”, it practically owns the table!!! The HR group is truly engaged in the business and is a model for how it should be done. Besides the standard HR areas as HRIS, Recruiting, Training, Employee Relations, Safety, and Organizational Development, and a robust Employee Referral program, the HR Department at Telerx handles 6 Call Centers, Quality Control and Facilities.
HR directly impacts the organization through their deliverables in culture, systems and performance. The department supports its employees in various ways. From providing time and support to employees volunteering in community organizations to mentoring through experiential opportunities, both formal and informal to the Outreach program to identify job-related issues and concerns important to newly hired associates to increase their level of job satisfaction and integration, Telerx’s HR group has shown itself to be forward thinking and creative in their approach. In conjunction with the Marketing Department, Telerx HR created an “Employment Brand”. Used to introduce and establish their identity in the market, HR partnered with their employment-advertising agency to create an ad campaign, which standardizes their image to the external labor pool and associates within the company.
Telerx HR Department truly exemplifies the designation, “HR Department of the Year”
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, is a joint venture between Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGG). Borgata is a $1 billion, hotel casino resort which opened in the summer of 2003 at Renaissance Pointe in the Marina District of Atlantic City, New Jersey. It features a 135,000 square foot casino, 9 specialty boutiques, 11 signature restaurants, and a 2,000 room luxury hotel and European Spa. . .
With a grand opening scheduled for July 3, 2003, Cassie Fireman and her staff set out to find the “best of the best” (the Five Fs: Fast, Fun, Friendly, Fresh and Focused) by initiating a high profile multimedia recruiting campaign to attract candidates and make it easy for them to apply and interview. The on-line campaign, centered in the Atlantic City Convention Center, and powered by PeopleSoft, included a streamlined application form containing only key questions, and encouraging candidates to self-schedule an interview with a recruiter at their convenience. Multi-lingual greeters were available to provide support to applicants. Additionally, recruiters went into communities with higher than average unemployment rates to let them know what Borgata had to offer. Using PeopleSoft, the recruiters were able to review applications, document interviews, attach requisitions, generate offer letters, and schedule pending hires for orientation. Ongoing, the Borgata’s high-efficiency employment practices allow candidates to apply for jobs and schedule interviews through the website or via telephonic interactive voice recognition (IVR) technology.
Innovativeness didn’t stop when the first recruits came on board. Borgata’s intranet technology also created a new mind set in the casino industry by empowering associates and managers through self -service access. Managers can access daily business performance metrics or customer satisfaction data. All of the more than 5,000 associates (employees) can access the associate policy handbook, work schedules, benefit enrollment, course registration, vacation schedules/requests and email, and print paychecks. Borgata also created “heart of the house” intranet lounge areas where associates can gather in quiet lounges to rest, play chess, or check email.
Once hired, associates are not forgotten. There is a 45- day check-up program in which new associates are asked if they have been provided with the tools and training they need to do their job effectively. Feedback is also solicited from all associates, managers and the leadership team through an annual associate engagement survey which is designed to assess customer service, communication, employee relations, knowledge, performance and product offerings. The results of the 2004 survey were used to adjust service hours of operation and HR responsibilities in all Talent department areas.
The Talent department’s strategic perspective and focus on the business needs is integrated into their interactions with, and support of, all levels and aspects of the organization. Weekly meetings of Talent staff include business operation updates and invitations for operations managers to participate. And, unusual for a Human Resources department, Talent has direct accountability for the satisfaction of Borgata’s customers. All associates have access to customer relationship repair kits, which empower them to help repair a service breakdown on the spot. For instance, if a customer is not happy with service, they could receive a certificate for one of the Borgata’s restaurants. Seventy-five percent of customer concerns are taken care of on the spot, and department managers monitor their own category of accountability.
It is the strategic approach and ongoing detailed execution of an innovative, comprehensive and thoughtful plan that has distinguished Borgata as a winner of the 2005 HR Department of the Year Award.
AmeriGas Propane, L.P. is the nation’s largest retail distributor of propane gas (LPG). Headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, the company serves more than 1.3 million residential, commercial, agricultural and motor fuel customers from more than 650 distribution locations in 46 states. AmeriGas also operates a Pre-fill Propane Exchange business that maintains about 22,000 barbecue grill cylinder exchange locations nationwide at well-known retailers, including Wal-Mart and Home Depot. In 2004, AmeriGas sold nearly 1.3 billion gallons of propane. The national customer base is served by 6,500 employees; 75% of whom interact directly with customers as Delivery Representatives, Service Technicians or Customer Relations Representatives.
Project Eagle, completed in 2002, challenged HR to seamlessly integrate Columbia Propane, an acquisition that grew AmeriGas by 25%. HR launched a major multi-disciplinary initiative which included an extensive, protracted communication program, personal visits by AmeriGas employees to every Columbia location (about 100 on the day of closing), as well as the expected, but by no means simple, technical payroll and benefit integration tasks. As a result of the welcoming efforts, employee and customer defections were minimized and the acquisition handily met its pro forma targets.
In 2003, the HR Department led a successful reorganization process, which, in addition to being completed on time and within budget, resulted in a $10 million reduction in operating expenses. AmeriGas reorganized from 7 regions to 4 and from 80 markets to 60. Management ranks were reduced by 200 individuals to increase the effectiveness of the management team. The following year this realignment proved so successful that AmeriGas experienced the best results in the organization’s history.
The HR Department has had a direct and significant impact on customer growth through the design and 2003 implementation of the strategically conceived “Customer First” incentive program. All field employees participate in this program based on customer growth and retention targets for the respective locations. In addition to financial rewards, the President/CEO hosts conference calls with every Customer Relations Representative in the country. The four years before implementation of this program saw customer losses exceeding customer gains. Since the start of the program almost three years ago, the earnings of the lowest paid employees have been boosted and customer growth and retention has made a significant comeback, with positive growth posted every year since the introduction of the program.
AmeriGas is a seasonal business with peak delivery volumes during the winter. Effective staffing of certified and experienced Delivery Representatives (Commercial Drivers License with Hazmat endorsement required) and Service Technicians during the months of December through February is critical to the success of the business. HR developed and led a successful campaign strategy focused on the transition from primarily full-time, year-round employees to both year-round and seasonal employees. This new staffing strategy has had a significant positive financial impact on the organization, reducing both benefit and overtime costs and increasing the level of service provided to customers.
Through its consistently strategic approach to the design and implementation of programs and processes aimed at increasing employee satisfaction and contributing visibly to the success of organizational business goals, the HR Department of AmeriGas Propane has distinguished itself as a winner of the 2005 HR Department of the Year Award.