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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 17, 2001

60 Seconds on Business
Companies succeed by involving workers

By Dr. Drake Beil
President, Solutions Inc.

In October, the Hawaii Psychological Association recognized 19 Hawai'i-based organizations for their outstanding workplace practices. Six organizations received special awards for excellence — Hilton Waikoloa Village in the large-business category; Hawaii Business Equipment, small-business; Castle Medical Center, not-for-profit; 115th Military Intelligence Group, armed forces; and Hawaii Health Systems Corp. and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, co-winners in government.

The five aspects of a healthy workplace evaluated were health, safety and security; career development; employee involvement; family support; and community support. That's an overview of some of the best practices in our workplace today. For the complete list of recognized companies, you can go to hawaiipsych.org, the home page of the HPA.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village vigorously encourages employee involvement. The hotel manager regularly calls "pau hana" meetings with teams, to discuss ideas and concerns directly. Many of the teams have social activities that incorporate the whole family.

Their "open-door" policy is implemented by hotel-wide quality teams and a well-crafted "empowerment program" that gives employees the ability (and the responsibility) to make decisions benefiting guests whenever there's a problem. For example, team members can use their discretion to provide a guest with a complimentary breakfast or free transportation without having to clear every decision with supervisors.

Reach Dr. Drake Beil at drake@60secondsonbusiness.com or 587-5832.