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Medtronic
Here is what I found out from my meeting with Richard Ploetz, VP Global Business Solutions HR, on Thursday, 17 May. It was very interesting.

Medtronic does not have a staff engagement program per se. Mr. Ploetz identified staff enagement by referencing Medtronic's mission statement, which seems to be their staff engagement lightening rod. He said the company has strived to create a culture for their 37, 000 employees where they know the mission, are driven by it and see their work as a means to the mission. Mr. Ploetz had, along with his business cards, a Medtronic "mission statement" card (I have one I will bring on Wednesday, 23 May). Their philosophy is to keep it simple, strong and consistent. This statement helps them to attract, motivate and retain employees.

They have a Medallion Ceremony where the top executives (such as founder Earl Bakken) speak to new employees about Medtronics, its mission, expectations of employees in acheiving its mission, etc. They then present each new employee with a medallion with the mission statement on it (it is a hefty piece, a palm-sized coin that sits on an eisel). This medallion is only given to employees and they are expected to keep it on their desk as a reminder of what the mission is and the part they play in acheiving it.

They have a program called "Mission in Motion" that encourage employees to get involve, whether with the Medtronic community or the employee's "external" community (Medtronic will make donations to organizations their employees are involved with).
They conduct an employee attitude survey every 2 years (and achieve an 88-95% response rate from all employees). The survey is used by the unit/department/division/company. Managers and supervisors meet to discuss the results (as opposed to just handing them out to be read, if at all).

As to training, they have a Senior Leaders Program (which includes their spouses), Global Leader and Medtronic Manager training. They also have training courses for any employee to take also. Medtronic trains leaders in the Medtronic's expectations of their leaders.

All employees are encouraged (and leaders, managers, supervisors are expected) to design a career development program for themselves. It would include internal development goals, career goals and job empowerment. They strive to create a holistic culture to teach, delegate, empower their employees, encouraging them to participate in putting the "Mission in Motion."

Interestingly, Mr. Ploetz gave me a brief tour as he led me out. I commented on how beautiful the building was and he made an off-the-cuff comment about how they give tours, there is one guard who really knows the history of the company and his tours are quite interesting. The tours are for people internal as well as external -- and we were just talking about having University tours for staff! Quite serendipitous!