The Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
published the Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Qualified Contractor to Develop, Deliver
& Train an Employee Assessment & Measuring Tool on January 9, 2006 in the State
Register. Potential responders were required to submit any questions about the RFP by
January 23, 2006 at 4:00 pm. The following is a summary of the questions and
Department responses. Questions are numbered and underlined.
1. Are employees being surveyed a subset of the organization in certain workgroups
or stratified across the organization?
2. Who will be surveyed (titles and job descriptions) and how many?
The employees being surveyed are in specific workgroups within both the MPCA and the
Department of Human Services. The RFP indicates that we intend to survey up to 1000
employees and provide training for up to 200 supervisors. We estimate surveyed
employees will be approximately: 13% directors, managers, and supervisors, 83%
professional staff, and 4% will be clerical staff.
3. What is the connection between DHS and the MPCA?
4. Why are DHS and MPCA joining together for this RFP?
5. Is this a Drive to Excellence initiative?
The DHS and MPCA both share a desire to improve employee engagement. We learned
over the past 6 months that both organizations were seeking assistance in this area, shared
a mutual vision of the direction and outcome and decided to join together. Although this
RFP is not directly tied to Drive to Excellence, it is based off the principle that agencies
can achieve better results by working together as an enterprise and by forming
“purchasing communities of like needs”. This effort may eventually grow to an
enterprise-wide request as other agencies indicate need for this service.
6. What are the outcomes sought?
The RFP indicates that we expect to collect data on current employee engagement, train
leadership on how to foster that engagement with the ultimate outcome of increasing
employee engagement that leads to improved organizational performance. Please refer to
the background section of the RFP for further detail on the expected outcomes.
7. Who will attend the training (titles and job descriptions)?
The training will be attended by leadership of the workgroups in the two agencies. Up to
200 individuals will attend the general leadership trainings, titles include: Unit
Supervisors, Section managers, Division Directors, and Executives.
The RFP indicates that organizational development staff may attend the training-the-
trainer sessions. This attendance is expected to be approximately 20 individuals.
8. Can firms bid separately for the implementation/ results development work?
9. What is your budget expectation for training?
10. What is your budget expectation for training materials?
11. What is your budget expectation for the website?
12. Is $10,000-20,000 for the whole program out of the question?
The RFP indicates that the training component is estimated to cost $40,000, and can be
bid separately and exclusively from the employee engagement assessment. Our
expectation is that focused contact with the leaders on their results is the majority of the
training component time and cost. Training materials are needed to support that effort.
The RFP indicates that the assessment component is estimated to cost $35,000, and the
website for conducting the employee engagement assessment should be included in this
13. The RFP states that the survey administration process should include an electronic
and paper application. What percentage of the surveys does the State anticipate
will need/use a paper based survey administration?
14. Would the state be agreeable to a “web-only” survey administration?
15. Would it be acceptable to propose an on-line survey tool that resides on our
16. As this is a State project, we are assuming that any on-line portion of proposed
solutions will be required to meet all State and Federal accessibility standards. Is
We hope the number of paper-based surveys will be less than 1%. However, from past
experience we know that some staff will not submit electronic surveys despite repeated
assurances of confidentiality. We want the greatest amount of participation possible from
our staff and therefore a paper-based option is necessary and the state will not accept
“web-only” administration of the survey. The web based survey may reside on the
vendor’s server. The web based application must be compliant with State and Federal
17. On page 7, the RFP states “describe a post-survey to be administered by
December 29, 2006”. Is this additional survey included in the $35,000 budget for
18. Is the state interested in use the same survey for this post survey, or can a
different survey be developed to measure the outcomes?
19. Is the state interested in surveying up to 1000 employees with this post-survey as
The post survey is included in the $35,000 budget for the survey. The state would like
data that can be compared over time, so using the same “base” survey would be essential,
however additional questions are expected to be added to the post-survey to measure
follow-through by leaders on the results.
20. Does the $40,000 budgeted for training/leadership support include both the pre
and post surveys?
No. The pre and post surveys are part of the $35,000 budgeted for the employee
engagement survey. The training/leadership support budget is solely for instructing
leaders on how to interpret and act on the results of the pre-survey and for train-the-
21. If we plan on partnering with another organization that will provide the Training
and Leadership Support Component, can we include them in our proposal?
Yes, that is encouraged.
22. Does the state require additional languages other than English for survey
administration (i.e. Hmong, Vietnamese, etc.)?
23. Has the State conducted a workforce engagement study in the past, and if so,
would you be willing to share the results of that survey.
The MPCA and DHS have conducted a survey similar to this in the past and would be
willing to share the results, with the understanding that the survey is over 5 years old and
does not represent the same population, due to consolidation of state agencies and other
24. Are there any improvements you would like to make on your current survey
Yes and the requirements of this RFP are specifically based on the elements that need
25. Please expand on what is expected of the vendor to “Provide proof of ability to
compare data with at least 100 other organizations including governmental units”
that is stated on page 7.
The state wishes to benchmark other government agencies and organizations in it’s
efforts toward continuous improvement An advantage of conducting regular surveys is
that the agencies can compare their work environments across a variety of conditions,
industries and agencies. The State expects to have statistically relevant information and
thus the requirement for a specific number of data points.
26. “Engagement Survey” is a term used throughout the RFP. Please define this term?
27. Was the RFP prepared with the input or assistance of an outside resource? If so,
would you identify the resource?
“Engagement survey” consists of the employee engagement questions and post-survey
questions that measure engagement and benchmark successful outcomes. The tasks and
deliverables describe the specific elements that are to be provided to deliver and/or
support the specific components. The RFP was prepared by DHS and PCA agency staff.
28. How were the estimated costs for this project determined?
The costs were based on research into employee engagement surveys offered in other
organizations and previous leadership development training efforts.
29. Is it possible to have an extension on the RFP? If not, please have Q & A
responses ready before Friday.
30. Would the Department consider accepting emailed proposals, with the signed
attachments scanned as .pdfs? If required, the original signed documents could
follow at a later date?
The RFP indicates proposals must be physically received by 4:00 p.m. on January 30.
Late Proposals will not be considered and will be returned unopened to the submitting
party. Faxed or e-mailed Proposals will not be accepted. No extension is possible. We
will post responses to the questions as quickly as possible, no later than January 27, 2006.
31. Under “Scope of Work", B "Tasks", 1 "Assessment and Technical Support"
(Bullet #5) Can you define what is meant by the "unknowns" and "not pre-coded"
The database submitted as a deliverable to DHS and MPCA must be “cleaned” for
example: elimination of false data, identifying and eliminating duplicates, identifying
surveys provided but unknown as to the unit in which they are associated and so on.