Success Story: Midwest Eye-Banks

Description: Bindu Raj Rajavelu, Quality Assurance – Supervisor, Midwire“During the August leadership seminar, we discussed common employee problems and personal leadership strengths. During this seminar, I learned new techniques to coach underachievers to success and learned to use mentoring skills to create a stronger and more effective team. The trainer suggested we set ‘base performance expectations’ for underachievers, and recommended that we evaluate, coach and mentor the associate until we get the expected performance output from them. Also, the trainer taught us to give underachievers enough time to reach expected performance goals. All the guidance I received from the trainer was appropriate and quite useful to me.” 
Kara Kelly, Manager, Public/Professional Education,
Illinois Eye-Bank

“I found the recent professional development curriculum content to be very beneficial. In particular, I liked the ‘Coaching and Mentoring Skills’ seminar. I learned some very constructive skills for working with new and existing employees. I also learned a lot about myself. During the training, we were taught, “We achieve what we believe we can, and we don’t achieve what we fear we can’t.” There are areas of my job where, I now realize, I am looking for the negative, rather than using the skills I have and expecting to be successful. It is powerful to understand that my attitude is just as important as my skills. It was also a reminder that when I provide training, I need to avoid sharing negative feelings about past experiences because they can shape the attitudes of those whom I mentor. Furthermore, I realized long-term employees benefit from continued mentoring, and that we should find value in taking the time to continue mentoring and supporting their professional growth. Allowing ourselves and our employees to remain comfortable, without challenges and growth, will ultimately hurt Midwest Eye-Banks’ success.

I hope to spend more time job-shadowing my employees so that I can support what they do well, and encourage learning by coaching them in other areas. I have also been reflecting on the things I would really like to receive from my supervisor as well. This has helped me recognize the type of feedback and modeling that would help me be better at what I do.

I look forward to utilizing many of the coaching techniques I learned to support my staff and make myself a better employee.”


Nicole Wilson, CLC Shift Leader, Midwest Eye-Banks

“At the August leadership seminars, we discussed coaching and mentoring. I learned that most employees want patient, open and direct coaching. When this is achieved, it allows us to build trust and shows the employee that we’re invested in their success. Also, I learned that what employees want most is appreciation. Something as simple as a handwritten note really resonates with people, and ultimately, what we reward gets repeated.”



Jennie Dalton, Facilities Manager, Midwest Eye-Banks

“In our August ‘Coaching and Mentoring Skills’ training session, one particular point really stuck with me: When national employment surveys are done, a sense that the work you do is valued and appreciated has far more impact on how satisfied employees are with their jobs than their compensation or benefits. So, it is critical to make employees feel valued by you and the organization, not just on special occasions or when convenient, but all of the time. I know that being on the receiving end of heartfelt appreciation feels really great, so I am committed to ‘upping my appreciation game.’


Here are some of the ideas that we were given to create an environment of appreciation in the workplace:

  • Recognize and celebrate hard work.
  • Praise using simple, direct, powerful words.
  • Give people your undivided attention in meetings; no cell phones or
    computers in sight.
  • Send handwritten notes of specific and genuine gratitude.
  • Show care and respect for individuals.
  • Give positive feedback in a 6:1 ratio to negative feedback.
  • Provide opportunities for growth and advancement.


Don’t ever assume that people know how much their hard work is valued. Fellow attendees have already been implementing some of these ideas and have reported wonderful results. Our instructor made it very clear that appreciation should know no bounds; it doesn’t have to come only from supervisors or be limited to within your department or subsidiary, so everyone should try it and see what happens!”  


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