At Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care, change is driven by customer-owners and their feedback is an integral part of the strategic planning process. Leveraging the strengths of Alaska Native culture and the community is a significant part of what has made SCF successful; SCF incorporates these strengths into the strategic planning process, with a focus on building and maintaining relationships across the organization. The goal is to make changes and improvements that customer-owners want to see while maintaining efficiency and a high quality of service. The strategic planning cycle is active year-round to help SCF achieve this goal.
SCF uses several methods for collecting feedback data and community input for organizational improvement:
- A survey system, including a customer satisfaction survey delivered on tablets and an annual employee satisfaction survey (supporting work processes, employee performance, and links to customer satisfaction, with 55 percent of employees who are Alaska Native or American Indian).
- A trend-reporting database used for non-qualitative data, which allows Nuka to make changes desired by customer-owners quickly and efficiently.
- Community advisory boards, such as the Elder Advisory Council and Tribal Health Advisory Councils, provide feedback directly to leadership.
- Community events, such as the Southcentral Foundation Annual Gathering, promote wellness programs and provide opportunities for customer-owners to share feedback.
Leadership is committed to several principles to support employees as they make improvements desired by customer-owners. They encourage calculated risk-taking innovation and creativity on the part of employees, who are encouraged to try out new ideas and look for new approaches to problems.
SCF’s approach to strategic planning could prove valuable to study for organizations that are having difficulties formulating and executing strategic plans or are looking for ways to improve their planning processes. SCF’s experience has shown that an inclusive approach to strategic planning can lead to increased satisfaction from both customers and employees, as well as improved quality of services.