NORFOLK (NNS) -- Norfolk Naval Shipyard's (NNSY) Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program was acknowledged as one of the Navy's top programs, earning five star accreditation from Commander, Naval Installations Command (CNIC).
The NNSY MWR team was presented with a trophy that will be displayed at various MWR facilities throughout the year, by shipyard Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Brown at Scott's Center Annex, June 7.
"This is a great accomplishment," said Brown. "Your focus on high standards, innovation, leadership and customer service are a testament to the great programs we see and I know going forward, it's only going to get better and better."
Established in 2010, the CNIC Accreditation Program's goal is to increase program standards - the foundation of daily operations and reinforced by MWR leadership - and recognize top performers.
To earn this elite award, organizations must clearly demonstrate superior management of critical operational elements, to include programs, personnel development, financial performance, customer satisfaction and facility management, said Chad Rickner, NNSY MWR director.
Additionally, program managers must continuously develop new initiatives to enhance current programs and ensure staff members are fully trained, empowered, have knowledge of all MWR programs, and are actively engaged in process improvement.
The review is typically done by a four-person team made up of MWR professionals who look over all aspects of the MWR program, explained Rickner, who also participates in reviews of other programs. This allows MWR professionals to review and assess each other, as well as provide ideas and best practices which in turn help to better align the MWR program as a unified corporation and continuously work to make it great in all locations.
"Without question this reward is due to our team," said Rickner. "Their dedication to high quality services, professionalism and desire to put out the best product they can is what I believe makes our program five-star."
The accreditation encompasses the Callaghan Fitness and Sports Center, Sailors Liberty Center, Outdoor Rentals, Tickets & Travel, bowling alley, pool, and other NNSY MWR facilities and programs.
"The team has worked hard during the last few years to really enhance our programs and make some improvements and changes," said Rickner.
One improvement in particular was the renovation of the 1941 Callaghan Fitness and Sports Center, which included updated locker rooms, new group and cardiovascular exercise areas, and new racquetball courts.
"We have improved our recreational programming, adding more events geared toward the family," said Rickner. "Our program offers great events year-round at minimal or no cost. Many of the events are a direct result of customer feedback and comments, so we are definitely listening to our customers and we hope they'll keep it coming."
What makes the achievement even more exciting is that the NNSY customer base is constantly changing and fluctuating. The NNSY MWR serves a large Department of Defense civilian population of more than 10,000, as well as active duty military and their families. Because the shipyard is a repair facility, the amount of customers changes constantly. Because of this, the MWR team must carefully plan and adapt to meet the needs of the shipyard community, said Rickner.
"We are in the 'fun' business, which requires us to have a fun and innovative outlook when we come to work every day. Of course we have deadlines and tasks, but at the end of the day, we know our mission is to improve quality of life and help our customers stay mission ready," said Rickner. "Our team meets regularly about challenges and how to overcome them, and how to better serve and provide for our shipyard population. We really enjoy what we do and it shows."
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