The MPCA was one of three Minnesota organizations to receive Performance Excellence Awards at the PENworks 2017 Conference this week. Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith presented PEN awards (Performance Excellence Network) to the MPCA, the Olmsted Medical Center, and the Mayo Clinic Health System.
PEN award-winners are chosen from organizations that have participated in its assessment process, which includes an application, an independent review, a site visit, and an improvement planning session. Only those organizations that have completed the assessment, have consistently improved results, and possess solid management systems are eligible for the award. The Performance Excellence Network is a non-profit, membership-driven organization serving Minnesota and the Dakotas. Its mission is to advance improvement and performance by helping leaders identify strengths as well as build networks that provide knowledge, information, resources and best practices to organizations.
"I’m very pleased at our Advancement-level award, but the real prize was the learning we gained to improve how the agency operates," says Cathy Moeger, Operations Director of the MPCA.
Last, year, 60 MPCA leaders were trained in the Baldrige Criteria and used that to review every aspect of how the agency is managed, including discussing and documenting our approach, deployment, learning, and integration of the performance criteria in the organization, and showing the results. The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence is used to evaluate the organizations on everything from customer-related processes, leadership, measurement and information systems, operations, strategic planning, and workforce engagement.
Evaluators from Baldrige reviewed the assessment and interviewed more than 100 staff at all levels of the organization and in two regional offices. The MPCA also provided 350 documents for the evaluators to confirm the assessment. The evaluators documented their insights about our organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement and discussed those with our leadership. The agency has picked three opportunities for improvement to focus on this year.