Organizational Effectiveness

Campus Address
121-50 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 50
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

The I.O.W.A. Review Committee looks for these components in the nomination:

  • Initiative – recognizing an improvement opportunity and choosing to take action.
  • Innovation – using novel or creative means to improve.
  • Measurable, Demonstrable Results – having data to demonstrate that improvement has occurred.
  • Sustaining Impact – demonstrating that the improvement continues beyond an initial burst.

The nomination must include at least three of the four components to be considered for the I.O.W.A.

Additional pages of text may be attached. Letters of support are not necessary.

If you have questions, contact the Review Committee chair at 335-2260, to provide information and support. Members of the Review Committee are also available to assist you by reviewing and giving feedback as you write your nomination.

The following examples are provided to assist you in writing a nomination:

Section I - Initiative

In completing section I, the example below will assist you. Notice the description of the challenge in the workplace, who recognized the need for change, and who initiated the efforts to improve the workplace.

Example: After the new Ambulatory Surgery Center was completed, an older area that was not constructed to support large cases was being used for that purpose. The OR staff found it frustrating when working in this area due to its inefficiency, and the lack of space to accommodate large cases of equipment and supplies. The staff individually had great ideas, but needed assistance in making those changes a reality. An interdisciplinary team was formed of CSS personnel and OR nurses.

Section II - Innovation

When an individual or team tackles a challenge in a novel or creative way, innovation is demonstrated. The nomination portion below provides an excellent example of this section of the nomination.

Example: Kris was determined to make a difference and improve the environment for staff in her area. On her own initiative, she monitored renovation projects in the hospital where enough modern furniture existed to update the area. When it was determined that the first level of PFP West was to be remodeled for patient care, she recognized it had enough furnishings to accomplish the goal. She immediately contacted the project manager and inquired as to the disposition of the furnishings. Through negotiations, she worked out an arrangement to recycle the furnishings for use in her own department. She agreed to accomplish the upgrade provided she did not disrupt the time line of the PFP renovation project and had a minimal impact on staff in her own department. In all, the project ran for six to nine months and consisted of three phases. Kris put in additional hours to see that the project was completed successfully and followed up on every detail.

Section III - Measurable, Demonstrable Results

In this section, the committee is looking for the impact of the nominated effort. Results may be shown by data, both facts and figures (e.g., cost or time savings, participation levels, feedback surveys, error rate changes, etc.).

Example: The University of Iowa’s ongoing efforts to reach out to the community, recruit students from under-represented ethnic and racial groups, and showcase the University to the surrounding community is an example of respect, teamwork, and a place of welcome to all who visit our campus. The day staff and students working hand in hand with the evening custodial staff that are responsible for the Seamans Center has resulted in several long-term benefits: no need to order extra tables and chairs each week for the meal that is provided the attendees (cost savings $150 each week), careful planning resulting in no need for extra costs for custodial services (over-time charges), and no need to go to Plan B which was to impose limits on the number of children who come to the University for these free weekly tutoring sessions.

Section IV - Sustaining Impact

The change that has been nominated needs to have been embedded in your workplace as the way things are currently done. Use the example below to guide you as you describe how it is embedded.

Example: In summary, this project and the results to date clearly embody the spirit of the I.O.W.A. award. The project required Terese and Jayne, with the support of Melissa and Kent, to take the initiative to develop an innovative solution to a long-standing quality issue in their lab. The introduction of the quality checkpoint has produced a measurable improvement in reducing the error rate. The reduced error rate has been sustained over time (as previously mentioned, since the inception of the quality checkpoint on 12/11/2009 no mis-matched slide has left the lab). Finally, the project has helped to promote a culture of inclusion and participation within the histopathology laboratory.

The Improving Our Workplace Award is a partnership of Organizational Effectiveness and Staff Council.