DecisionWise: A MAGIC-al Approach for 'Engaging People'

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Dr. Tracy M. Maylett, CEO, DecisionWiseDr. Tracy M. Maylett, CEO
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
- Peter Drucker

Today’s savvy leaders know that employee engagement is a key driver of an organization’s success. Companies with highly-engaged employees outperform their competitors in terms of productivity, customer and patient care, creativity, and innovation, all of which lead to higher profitability and decreased turnover. So, how does a company measure this key component, as well as unlock the power behind employee engagement?

For the past several decades, organizations have relied on annual employee surveys to measure employee engagement. For most, this was the extent of their “employee engagement initiatives.” Those that were more progressive were able to address one or two areas each time a survey was administered, typically on an annual basis. However, most organizations simply did not have the tools or talent to analyze the data and formulate a strategy to leverage it, nor did they possess the internal expertise to create action plans that would drive positive business results.

The game has changed. Today, organizations of all types and sizes have become more adept at measuring, understanding, and addressing the employee experience. Tapping into this expertise, DecisionWise partners with its clients to create an employee experience that drives employee engagement and business performance.

Founded in1996, DecisionWise—a Utah, USA-based employee experience firm— works with organizations to measure, analyze, and improve the employee experience. It starts with its compelling employee survey reporting tool, the Leadership Intelligence System (LIS) providing its clients with a robust, yet intuitive, framework to explore all aspects of their employee survey data. However, the DecisionWise approach does not start or stop with the survey.

“We aim to build an organization that engages and brings people with it. This is best explained through our tagline ‘engaging people.’ We work on three different levels: organizational, team, and individual, to reach every corner and then provide relevant tools and methods to create lasting and meaningful change,” says Dr.Tracy M. Maylett, CEO of DecisionWise. He continues, “Although DecisionWise believes in offering the best technology available when it comes to survey analytics, our value does not end with our software solutions. Our aim is to enable organizations to track, improve, engage, and retain the talent they need to drive business results.” Armed with a team of experts that includes psychologists, statisticians, technologists, and organization development experts, DecisionWise’s LIS allows clients to drill deeper into the unanswered zones and conduct additional assessments to probe further.

During its 23-year history, DecisionWise has amassed an extensive database from tens of millions of survey responses. In 2012, the company began a deep analysis of this core database, through which they realized the five key elements present in engaged workforces. “We call it ENGAGEMENT MAGIC—the MAGIC acronym referring to Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and finally, Connection, both to the organization and to one’s colleagues,” opines Maylett.

Our tagline, ‘engaging people’ explains how seriously we think of people and their potential

In 2014, the company published a book on the firm’s findings, followed by the 2019 release of additional research on engagement in the book, ENGAGEMENT MAGIC: Five keys for Engaging People, Leaders, and Organizations.

DecisionWise has established itself as a prominent leader in its industry by partnering with organizations of all types, sizes, and industries. The success story of one of its largest clients, UPMC, illustrates just how these partnerships have helped make both DecisionWise and its clients better.

UPMC is a $20 billion, world-renowned non-profit health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with over 87,000 staff members; 50 academic, community, and specialty hospitals; and 700 doctors’ office and outpatient sites. Nearly a decade ago, UPMC hired DecisionWise to measure employee engagement and, over time, tie engagement to key business metrics like performance, productivity, turnover, patient satisfaction, and retention.“They came to us to create an effective employee experience, but the main challenge was that their operations spanned multiple locations with many local cultures,” says Maylett.

“Once we knew what was really going on, we were able to design purpose-built solutions which could better engage their workforce. This enhanced the overall UPMC employee experience.” says Maylett. DecisionWise paved the way for UPMC to identify organizational engagement themes and trends. Although technology helped reveal ideal engagement opportunities at UPMC, it was DecisionWise’s “human element” that made the difference. Since the company began advising UPMC, Maylett has watched UPMC incorporate the MAGIC principles by consciously working on all five key elements to reach their goals. “UPMC is a world-class organization, and unlike a lot of companies, they believe their patient experience is a direct result of their employee experience,” he notes.

UPMC has always been a significant player and innovator in the healthcare arena, providing life-changing medicine and experience for patients, employees, health plan members, and the community. It continues to strive to enhance its employee experience and to be an employer of choice throughout its geographic footprint. Thus, the ongoing ability to understand perceptions and attitudes across its various facilities is a critical component in helping UPMC maintain its leading status as an employer of choice and a place of healing where patients receive world-class care and services.

Joseph Dicianno, Ph.D., Talent Management and Organizational Development Manager at UPMC comments, “DecisionWise has the ability to morph and change alongside our needs and understand the nuances of UPMC. They exercised care and empathy, leveraged our internal expertise, and prioritized our journey. For me, this is the most compelling trait of our partnership with them and a key strategic competitive advantage. Lastly, their LIS continues to evolve, which garners positive reviews from our leaders and eases the action-planning process.”

Through this partnership between DecisionWise and UPMC, employee engagement scores have continually improved, which subsequently enhances both the patient and employee experiences. Dicianno concludes, “Typically, providers in the market focus either on the technology or the process. But, DecisionWise is a true strategic partner that believes in building a relationship to better understand its client’s organizational structure and offer solutions accordingly.”
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Springville, UT

Dr. Tracy M. Maylett, CEO

DecisionWise LLC was founded in 1995 and is a management consultancy company dedicated to evaluation feedback and growth. DecisionWise offers information about organizational and person results, ability and culture on its industry-leading online survey software platform. The consultancy team works with organizations to make individual and organizational efficiency more productive using this evaluation information. DecisionWise's essential facilities include staff engagement and activity scheduling surveys, online surveys, feedback from 360 degrees, management training, talent assessment and development among organizations. The organization improves management intelligence by using polls, evaluations, reviews, training and coaching