Metroparks of Toledo receives national recognitionWritten by Tyler DePerro | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Metroparks of the Toledo Area recently received recognition from Ohio Partnership for Excellence (OPE), a non-profit organization that uses the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to help organizations see improved results, including lowered costs, improved productivity and an increase in employee and customer satisfaction. The OPE award is given each year to organizations that exhibit the highest levels of quality, said Jim Spengler, director-secretary for the Metroparks.
“We’ve been involved in the state of Ohio program since 2001, but this was the first year we applied,” Spengler said. “The Baldrige method is about the only research-verified managerial approach to how you’d run an entire enterprise. Forty-eight states have state-level awards, and Ohio is one of them.”
Metroparks of Toledo received a Tier 3 award, Spengler said; the highest is a Tier 4.
The idea behind the program, Spengler said, is to spur competitive feelings and results among government organizations because they “don’t have direct competition. They have to force themselves to have competitive pressure to improve.”
When Spengler worked in California for Arlington Texas Parks and Recreation Department, he said, he “believed the government doesn’t need to be an increasing cost industry. I thought, ‘Why can’t the government deliver more service for the same money?’ Currently, we (at Toledo Metroparks) return $36 of service to the taxpayers for every $20 of tax dollars we receive.”
When he was recruited to his current position, Spengler “told them about the Baldrige process and then told them I intended to go in that direction.”
To be considered for an award, Spengler said, an organization must come up to standards in seven categories: leadership system, strategic planning, focus on customers, use of information, handling of human resources, operating processes and results.
A team of eight examiners stayed in Toledo for a week, “talking to employees, visiting all the parks,” Spengler said.
“We feel great about the course we’re on to serve the public,” Spengler said. “This is recognition that we’ve built our improvements on the improvements made by people who came before us.”
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