As one relatively new organisation, formed from 40, it has been important to find out from you about which areas we’re doing well at and where we need to improve, to make our organisation the best it can be.

We completed the first part of that process earlier this year via our first People Surveys. Thank you to the almost 1,170 volunteers and 1,240 employees who participated in each survey. Having such widespread representation from all areas of our business, both urban and rural, has given us a good picture of where we’re at now and what we need to focus on.

Main themes

The main themes arising from both surveys were very similar for both employees and volunteers.

Overall, you told us that Fire and Emergency is a great organisation to be part of, and that your team works well together.

You also told us we need to improve in a few areas. For example, we need to put in place clear and effective systems for dealing with bullying and harassment that apply equally to everyone; have regular and effective feedback and performance conversations; and manage poor performance.

What we are doing to address this

Since the survey closed in February, we’ve made progress to address the areas for improvement.

At the same time as you were completing the survey, we released the independent Positive Workplace Culture Review. It painted a similar picture of where we could do better.

In response to the recommendations outlined in the review we launched the Positive Workplace Culture Action Plan.(external link) The plan describes a number of initiatives that will help us build an inclusive, respectful and safe place to work and deal with unwanted behaviour. This work builds on the Respect and Inclusion Strategy that we’ve been implementing over the last year.

We’re supporting leaders through a series of Psychological Wellbeing workshops around the country that focus on how we talk and relate to each other and include dealing with bullying and harassment.

We’ve also recently launched our new strategic framework. The framework outlines our new purpose and vision, the strategic priorities and outcomes we will focus on, and the values and behaviours that will help us to create a positive culture within our organisation.

We’re creating a new performance development system to support your regular performance conversations. This will be progressively rolled out over the next few months.

Work is underway to develop leaders across the organisation, to enable them to better manage their direct reports and to get the best from their teams.

The themes from this survey will continue to inform how we can make our organisation the best it can be.

As we develop and mature as an organisation we want to keep in touch with what you think we’re doing well and where we still need to improve, so these People Surveys will be a regular annual event. The next survey is planned for late 2019. We have heard your feedback about the design of the last people survey and have made improvements. We will let you know how to participate in the survey closer to the time.

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