This exploratory, qualitative case study presents what employees perceive they have learned informally through participating in the implementation of the Baldrige criteria within their organization. Employees learn in the workplace through a variety of means including those which are both formal and informal. Informal learning, or learning occurring outside of formal settings such as classrooms, was the focus of this study. Many studies exist presenting performance improvements or organizational benefits of implementing the criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA). This study revealed seven themes describing what employees within an organization implementing the MBNQA criteria perceive they have informally learned by being a part of this process. First, employees have learned the power of having a focus as an organization and in individual work tasks. Additionally, processes and related measurements emerged in a variety of ways both at the organizational level and within individual work areas. Employees also expressed an acceptance and embracing attitude of change. A view of the organization as a system and an understanding that an individual can contribute to that system also emerged. Leadership, an awareness of and an appreciation for that of the organization and the development of individual leadership skills, was clear. Communication that occurs at all levels, inside and outside the organization was prominent as was the idea that employees were stretching themselves beyond where they currently were, both professionally and personally.
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