The first phase of TVA’s work to improve its organizational effectiveness has highlighted some strengths and identified significant opportunities for improvement, says John Thomas, chief people and performance officer. Thomas’s group is leading the TVA-wide Organizational Effectiveness Initiative that began by inviting all employees to take an Organizational Health Index survey. More than 6,200 employees responded to the survey, more than 120 employees participated in focus groups, and more than 60 participated in individual interviews. “We thank everyone for their time and candor,” Thomas says. The diagnostic phase identified four themes, Thomas says:
- Acknowledge people are TVA’s greatest strength. Employees said TVA needs to improve how employees share what they know with one another, and TVA needs to encourage the development of every employee.
- Increase accountability to one another. Employees said they often fall short in acknowledging jobs well done and being honest with one another when performance falls short.
- Quicken the pace without sacrificing safety. For many, TVA is not as responsive to their immediate work or customer needs as they would like. TVA could increase responsiveness while maintaining safety and reliability.
- Increase cooperation and collaboration. Substantial opportunities exist for TVA to act more like “one TVA” by increasing collaboration across the organization. This includes sharing best practices, more standardization of systems and common approaches to problem-solving.
What have we done?
Based on these findings, the OEI has defined five key improvement areas:
- Organizational structure
- Governance and accountability
- Operating policies and procedures
- Skills sets
- Rewards and recognitions
Work has begun in these areas, and one of the first was the announcement of a new senior management structure. The new structure, effective Jan. 2, 2010, will be led by an Executive Council. (See “Change at the top.”) Restructuring from the top will enable the leaders to own the change efforts from the start and be accountable for results, Thomas says. Several pilot efforts are being launched to demonstrate successful change. Paradise Fossil Plant is conducting a planteffectiveness pilot, and Nuclear Power Group is focusing on ways to attract and retain top talent.
Paradise was selected for a pilot because of its size, location and opportunities to align OEI with existing initiatives. The pilot is being led by plant leadership with support from Paradise employees. The pilot is expected to help employees and management identify ways to improve the most significant gaps in the plant’s operational and organizational performance. Attracting and retaining top talent continues to be a challenge, especially in Nuclear, which had already identified this topic as a priority. Nuclear was chosen for the pilot because of its impact on TVA’s future success. Employee focus groups and interviews are being conducted to identify critical skill gaps and improvement ideas.
Over the next several weeks, work will continue on the organizational restructuring and on the pilots at Paradise and in Nuclear. Results from the pilots will be the basis for long-term improvements throughout TVA.
Want to know more?
Updates will be announced through TVA Today and the OEI Web site on InsideNet. Employees can post questions, feedback and suggestions on the OEI site or e-mail OEI at OEI@TVA.gov.