I am mission success: Margaret Woods
PrYde Program Manager Margaret Woods shows off a Best Facility sign that recognizes Best Practices, one of two new inspection awards given quarterly.
Take 5 minutes and learn about Margaret Woods, manager of the PrYde Program at Y-12. All views and opinions are the employee’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CNS.
Margaret Woods has gone from the classroom to helping Y-12 facilities be class acts.
Since 2019, Woods has managed the PrYde Program, which finds potential safety hazards, ensures the site’s good appearance, and promotes workplace pride. Before coming to Y-12, she sought to bring out the best in second and third graders as a schoolteacher in Roane and Rhea counties for 28 years.
“Teaching is a passion,” she said. “There are times when I miss it, but I was ready for a change. My audience has always been 7 or 8 year olds, so it was a challenge to start working with adults.”
Woods sees her qualities and experience as a teacher as strengths in her Y-12 post.
“As a teacher, you have to plan ahead,” she said. “You have to plan weeks and months out. Being organized is important, on a personal and professional level. You have to make the most out of your time and energy. And as teachers, we had to be creative with our resources.”
Also, the Rockwood native is a self confessed neat freak, a perfect fit with the PrYde Program principle: A place for everything and everything in its place.
PrYde means “clarifying goals, editing the unessential, honing decision making skills, letting go of things that no longer support you, changing habits, and setting up viable, organizing systems,” said Woods, who also has 11 years of experience as a business manager. “It’s a process that requires time and patience and can be messy. But in the end, it will save time, energy, and money, while boosting safety.”
As PrYde program manager, Woods inspects 413 facilities in 15 zones on more than 800 acres. It’s about housekeeping on the highest level.
During the walk downs, “I look at every aspect of the facility. I look for trends, things that are common,” she said. “It could be ways to be more sustainable. A tenant’s office space may be cluttered with boxes. There may be leaks, which can cause water damage — mold. Equipment could be ruined by the water. Someone could slip and fall in a puddle. Collective little things can really add up.”
Inspections are performed annually. Woods visits 30 to 50 facilities per month. There are five color coded inspection ratings, which are calculated in a database. They range from Red (Unsatisfactory) to Blue (Excellent). In the middle is Green (Meets Expectations). Rating signs with the corresponding color are hung at the facilities after the inspection.
“Our goal is to have every facility be [rated] green or higher,” she said.
During the first quarter of FY 2022, 78% of the facilities inspected rated green or better. Last fiscal year, 84% of 413 facilities were at least in the green.
This year, the program introduced two new quarterly awards: Best Practices and Most Improved. A facility that continues to implement and demonstrate routine housekeeping responsibilities and maintains a Blue (Excellent) rating will be given Best Practices. A facility that exhibits continuous improvements in a wide range of areas, from proper waste to exterior appearance, and elevates its rating from the prior annual inspection will garner Most Improved. The first facilities to boast the signs were Building 9720-9 for Best Practices and Building 9949-39 for Most Improved.
For Woods, her job is more than inspections. It’s also about appreciation for the work done at Y-12.
“Being out there and seeing firsthand what our people do is amazing,” she said. “I learn something new every day. It’s like when I was teaching. I learned a lot from those 7 and 8 year olds.”
What daily task lets you know you’re helping achieve the CNS mission? How does that task let you know you’re working towards the mission?
I think it’s when I get the follow ups. I’ll get an e-mail, and the customers have shared a photo that Photography has taken to show what has happened since the inspection. That tells me things are working and that they value what I’m trying to do.
What is your favorite aspect about your work environment? How does that aspect make you know the mission is being met?
I love seeing a facility move up its rating, whether it’s 2% or 20%. I love changing those signs. That makes me feel successful.
What CNS principle drives you to be successful?
I would have to say having integrity. That’s what we stand for. It’s about being proud of what we do and how we do it. I’m very fortunate to be a part of the mission.
What advice would you offer someone who is new to Y-12?
Make connecting with others a priority. Relationships that you build with another person adds a beam of support to what you’re building.
What one thing would your coworkers be surprised to know about you?
When I was 5 and 6 years old, I was in the Golden Flake Potato Chips commercials. I’m a star. I got free potato chips and got paid, too.