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Rotary Spirit Centre gets good grades

Assessment of facility took place throughout January and into February
Spirt Centre March 2020
The results of a review of operations at the Rotary Spirit Centre at the beginning of the year came back with high praise for staff. Town council reviewed the report at its March 9 meeting and commended facility staff for their hard work and the cooperation they showed which impressed the writer of the report.

WESTLOCK - Rotary Spirit Centre staff received high marks after a recent review of the facility’s daily operations and those who work there, although there are always improvements that can be made.

The results of that review, conducted by Delta Factor Inc., were provided to Westlock town council at its March 9 meeting, as part of the community services report, which was presented by CAO Simone Wiley.

“Our initial impression is that the Spirit Centre is generally a clean, well-run facility, staffed with a team of workers with a strong sense of team and desire to do a good job,” stated the executive summary of the report. “The facility is in good condition and it appears that staff are able to keep up with regular preventative maintenance and upkeep effectively.”

It goes on to note the cohesiveness of a small team of workers which displays a positive and healthy workplace culture.

“With only nine full-time non-supervisory staff, it also appears to be a lean organization, both in itself and in comparison to other similar facilities, but additional staffing, particularly in the custodial area, appears warranted.”

Speaking with the gentleman who prepared the report, Wiley said he was overwhelmed with the pride the staff felt for their work and the report had a section express the company’s appreciation for the honesty and forthrightness of staff while being interviewed in detail on multiple occasions.

“We want to express our appreciation to the manager and her entire team who participated in this review, who unhesitatingly gave time for our interviews and follow up discussions; shared their information, thoughts and data without question; patiently walked through their jobs with us; and often corrected our initial misunderstandings. Without exception, the attitude of the manager, supervisors and staff contacted was professional, positive and constructive,” read the report.

“I’m glad to hear the overwhelming theme was pride because there is a great deal of community pride in the facility as well, so that’s great,” said mayor Ralph Leriger during the council meeting.

The review, which took place in the first weeks of January started with community services director Mike Butler and worked its way into staff interviews and data gathering. There were also telephone interviews with representatives from user groups and interviews with members of council.

The report noted: “Any large group of individual respondents will have a wide range of perspectives and experiences, in some cases reinforcing each other and in others contradicting each other. What some see as well done or excellent, others may be more negative about. The challenge is to understand where, on balance, the feedback should guide drawing conclusions about what is working well and what needs to be addressed.

Of the recommended improvements, the report identified staffing, management protocols, safety and internal controls, but none were considered to be large deficiencies. It also recommended a series of long-term initiatives that could be considered, including investing in a program to strengthen customer service culture; increasing the facility’s value to the community through increased innovation and proactive community engagement; developing an enhanced marketing strategy; and creating a recreation master plan to align with the town’s strategic plan.

“There was nothing wrong with the facility to begin with, but there is always room for improvement and this really looked at some efficiencies and some things we can do better,” said Wiley, adding that recommendations will be complied into an action list that will be distributed to council and acted upon as it sees fit.

Chris Zwick,

About the Author: Chris Zwick

Athabasca Advocate editor
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