Posts Tagged ‘Eye Care Associates’

Nominate Your Company for a CAI Ovation Award Today!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

CAI is now accepting nominations for its Ovation Awards for HR Excellence. The awards, created by CAI in 2007, recognize local employers for their innovative people practices that have positively impacted business results.  Companies that win the award gain public recognition for their achievements, and they receive a great opportunity to present their winning people practice.

Three categories make up the awards: small company (less than 250 employees), mid-size company (250 to 500 employees) and large company (more than 500 employees). The nominating process is free and easy. Email CAI’s Director of Member Development, Doug Blizzard, at and include a summary of your best practice and the impact it has had on your organization. The summary should be two-to-three paragraphs and include the following: the business need, how you implemented the solution and measurable and/or forecasted business results.

CAI will accept submissions related to any area in HR. Examples of acceptable people practices include: maximizing an opportunity, implementing a wellness program, recruiting efforts for top talent, strategic planning for employee engagement, etc. The deadline for submitting nominations is November 30, 2011.

Winners will receive their awards at CAI’s 2012 HR Management Conference scheduled for February 21-22, 2012. Winning companies will also deliver a one-hour presentation on their exceptional people practice during the conference.

In addition to public recognition and the opportunity to demonstrate their people practice to their peers, winners receive the following benefits:

  • Enhanced employment brand
  • Organization and accomplishments listed in the CAI Newsletter and Website
  • One free registration to the 2012 CAI HR Management Conference
  • An etched award highlighting the achievement

 Past winners of the Ovation Award include: Krispy Kreme (2010, large), Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Industries Inc. (2011, 2009, mid-size), Eye Care Associates (2010, small ), The Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc (2011, small), Burt’s Bees (2010, mid-size), Rex Healthcare (2011, large) and The Bank of Oak Ridge (2008, small). For a complete list of past recipients, please visit

Nominate your company today! Please contact Doug at 919-523-8444 or the email above with any questions. Remember—you can’t win if you aren’t nominated. Good luck!

Photo Source: Third Eye a.k.a TreeNetra

HR Success – Eye Care Associates

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Ranked among the top 25 largest U.S. optometric-optical practices, Eye Care Associates has 19 offices throughout central and eastern North Carolina. It has grown aggressively over the past three years, adding seven new locations and upgrading several more of its existing offices. Along with this expansion, it has retained most of its talent. That accomplishment resulted in the firm winning a 2010 CAI Ovation Award in the small employer category (companies with 250 or less team members).

A few years ago, Eye Care Associates Human Resources Manager Melissa Short often heard team members tell her they wanted to achieve, learn and experience more to be engaged in the company’s mission as part of its growth. At the same time, Eye Care Associates knew it needed to identify and develop high-potential team members as part of its expansion activities. The company had lost a few exceptional team members because of a perceived lack of advancement opportunities.

Short started brainstorming ideas for a program that would meet everyone’s needs, from the corporate management team, who found themselves with insufficient time to develop a large number of team members, to the supervising office managers who needed employees on site for patient care. Working closely with the company’s training manager, Lois Paul, and two experienced office managers, Short tried to balance those interests as she designed and created the Visionary Development Program.

This 14-week intensive program identifies and tests high-potential team members while providing them with a strategic and more in-depth view of the organization. It consists of job shadowing, increased company involvement, and work on special projects. Eye Care Associates’ upper management team is actively involved in this process, mentoring employees and spending time with participants to educate them on their roles. Only a small group of team members – usually four or five – can participate in any four-month period when the program occurs.

The Visionary Development Program resulted in multiple benefits for Eye Care Associates, including:

  • Excellent retention among participants (15 out of the first 16 chosen for the program have stayed with Eye Care Associates, with the one leaving only for health reasons)
  • Improvement of the management team’s professional and interpersonal relationships with participants
  • A stronger pipeline of internal candidates for succession planning and expansion plans
  • Increased employee engagement and participation
  • Improved individual performance results
  • Innovative ideas from participants that would likely have remained undiscovered without the program
  • Increased credibility and respect for the management team by among program participants and their peers, as a result of witnessing their knowledge level and work volume firsthand
  • More confidence from the management team in participant abilities, resulting in more involvement of participants in special projects
  • Additional support to the management team that may have saved in administrative costs
  • The establishment of a true stepping stone for future advancement in the company

Eye Care Associates plans to revise and tweak the Visionary Development Program in the future to reap additional returns. This is a great model that other employers can replicate in their workplaces. Engaging employees more in the success and operations of the company is a great way to improve talent retention. For additional information about the Visionary Development program, contact Short at

CAI recognizes North Carolina companies for innovative HR/People solutions with Ovation Awards during its annual HR Management Conference in February.  If you’d like to be considered please send a 2-3 paragraph description of your program to  The description should summarize the business need, describe how the solution was implemented, and highlight the measurable and/or forecasted business results.

Photo Source: The-Villages-Onli…