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Needs and Priorities Assessment

123

needs and priorities assessment

motivator for program registrations is the reasonable cost

of Department programs and services. Therefore, keeping

fees reasonable is an important value proposition.

Based on 2010 Census data (Chapter 2, Table 4), the 20

to 54 years old age segment accounts for over 56% of the

population in the City of Raleigh. According to the Citizen

Interest and Opinion Survey, only 20% of households with

persons between the ages of 18 and 54 are using Raleigh

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resource programs and

services, while 13% are utilizing private clubs to meet their

needs. Although these are examples of competition, there

may be an opportunity for the City of Raleigh to partner

with these agencies to provide services and cross-promote

programs.

Overall, the City of Raleigh offers a large range of programs

and facilities. However, the key to any program or service

is in the quality and consistency of customer service,

quality personnel, and sense of value. The Citizen Interest

and Opinion Survey showed room for improvement in

customer service as only 73% of participants are either

very satisfied or satisfied with programs.

A key to developing consistent services is the use of service

and program standards. Having standards provides a

more consistent service environment. As program growth

continues, and as staff time permits, additional standards

can be put into place throughout the entire recreation

program system, such as customer requirements and

program consistency. Examples of standards, some of

which are currently being used by the Department, include:

• The instructor to participant ratios are appropriate for

the participant to feel attended to and safely directed.

• Instructor must check that all class equipment/

supplies are available and room setups are in place

prior to start time.

• All instructors will be provided a tool kit that

includes: their class or program roster with

phone numbers or email addresses, name tags for

participants; customer evaluations to hand out to

users; registration forms; a program guide; pertinent

park information and emergency phone numbers;

thank you cards for the instructor or program

supervisor to give to participants at the end of the

class, and an introduction sheet of what will be

occurring in the program or class; how it will be

conducted and what outcomes we hope to achieve.

• Customer feedback methods are in place to seek input

from participants on their expectations of the program

and the results of their experience. These methods

should include pre and/or post evaluations, focus

groups, trailer calls, and general program surveys.

• Class, program curriculum, or work plans will

be prepared by the instructor before the class

or program is to begin and then signed off by

the appropriate program supervisor within the

recreation division.

• A class or program budget will be prepared for each

activity and shared with the instructor or supervisor

on how class monies are spent. Final budget results

will be documented at the end of the program segment

and then shared with the supervisor or manager.

• The general standard for class cancellation will be

three business days before the class begins.

• Holiday hours for facilities must be posted at least

eight days ahead.

In addition to standards, efforts should be made to develop

a listing of key customer requirements for core program/

membership areas. Key customer requirements are defined

as those areas of the program purchasing process that are

most important to registrants. For example, an adult

softball player’s key requirements may include: cost of the

league, quality of athletic field maintenance; cleanliness of

restrooms; quality of the umpires; and location of the facility.

Identifying key requirements is vitally important for staff to

deliver the items most important to the customer.

Key requirements should be identified by customers and

can be included as part of an importance/performance

matrix. This determines how important a requirement

is to the customer and how the Raleigh Parks, Recreation

and Cultural Resources Department is performing. Both

community centers and recreation program staff use

checklist and audit procedures for their operations, which

is good practice. These can be applied throughout all areas.

In reviewing the program assessment information, there are

limited numbers of performance measures used throughout

the system to gauge performance.