Nationwide Fosters Continuous Improvement
Edited by Margery Weinstein
In February 2010, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company launched On Your Side Continuous Improvement (OYS CI) to create a unified capability of continuous improvement at all levels of the organization while enabling its mutual strategy.
OYS CI is achieved with comprehensive learning, application of learning through project execution, and building a culture of continuous improvement. The learning is built to teach associates to incorporate voice of the customer (VOC) into all Nationwide business processes and align them to customer expectations, help them facilitate data-driven decision-making, and empower them with tools and techniques to improve the work they do every day. The OYS CI program has become an integral part of Nationwide’s associate development program, which advances and sharpens professional skills.
On Your Side Continuous Improvement provides a comprehensive certification program for associates who participate in the learning, demonstrate application of their learning, and apply their learning by executing continuous improvement projects. There are five levels of training which include:
- Executive Sponsor: A one-hour workshop designed for executive leaders to help them build and sustain a culture of continuous improvement.
- Sponsor: For managers of people and process, it focuses on how to support CI efforts among their teams. Provides basic CI information via two-hour online learning model. Details the actions required for successful sponsorship of CI work.
- Champion: For all associates, especially those for whom CI isn’t their primary job. Focuses on the basics of continuous improvement. Encourages associates to continuously improve their work processes and their customers’ experiences. Empowers associates with an easy-to-use CI toolset. Training options: One-day classroom workshop with hands-on simulation or four-hour online interactive learning.
- Green Belt: For associates who spend 30 percent to 50 percent of their time executing CI work. Blended Lean and Six Sigma curriculum, with an emphasis on Lean. Incorporates project and change management skills training. Sixteen-week blended learning model/simulation with personalized coaching by a master black belt (MBB).
- Black Belt: For associates who spend more than 75 percent of their time executing CI work. Blended Lean and Six Sigma curriculum with emphasis on statistical analysis. Incorporates project and change management skills training. Twenty-week blended learning model/simulation with personalized coaching by a master black belt.
- Delivered training to more than 8,112 associates
- 6,380 projects since inception
- Significant savings in planned benefits
- The program tracks and measures every interaction that occurs during training, coaching, simulation, and workshop to immediately capture voice of Nationwide’s clients and make any necessary modifications. Average satisfaction score of 8.8 on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Five completed waves of Black Belt training with a 96 percent exam pass rate
- Eleven completed waves of Green Belt training with a 92 percent exam pass rate
- Trained 100 percent of all executive leaders on Executive Sponsor
- Partnered with The Ohio State University’s Center of Excellence for Operational Excellence to develop a widely accepted certification process
- Current demand is exceeding capacity
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