Making better connections
SLT at Region Volunteer Leadership Conferences
“An excellent learning experience and look into the future development of the organisation – and working as one team,” was a comment from one of the 220 attendees at the Volunteer Leadership Conference held in Region 4 in June.
The Strategic Leadership Team attends part of these regional conferences to connect with our volunteer leaders and have conversations about our future as Fire and Emergency NZ. They cover areas like the interim Command and Control policy – what works and what should change as we develop the final policy; what diversity at FENZ really means; an update on our uniform and fleet roll-out; training and people development changes since 2016 and what’s coming up; and increasing support for volunteers. The senior leaders’ agenda ends with an open forum – a popular session amongst attendees to ask any burning questions.
The helpdesk team was available to provide hands-on support to make sure people could connect and access our systems, including how to set up their fireandemergency.co.nz email accounts on their phones. We also showcased Mindtools, a resource for personal development, and Beacon, FENZ’s new ideas management tool.
The conference helped give Region 4 volunteer leaders a sense of progress across FENZ. “We now have a better sense of what’s going on and the volume of work happening. After today, we now appreciate that it’s going to take time,” one said.
Future conferences are planned for:
30 June, 1 July: Regions 1 and 2
7-8 July: Regions 3 and 5
What’s your why?
We all have our reasons for being part of Fire and Emergency NZ. It’s our personal connection with the organisation and with New Zealand – whether we volunteer, pursue a firefighting career, or bring our expertise to help implement change at FENZ. Our senior leaders are sharing their ‘why’ at the Volunteer Leadership Conferences – a theme that was brought to life in this year’s National Volunteer Week celebrated across the country 17-23 June. With more than 11,000 dedicated fire and emergency volunteers we’re able to reach all corners of New Zealand and help keep communities safe. This year seven of our very own volunteers featured in our national campaign and we invited the public to say thanks and #LetsHearIt for our volunteers – through radio and newspaper ads, and social media activity. Their comments and stories will be shared across FENZ over the coming months.
The ‘why’ theme was also used during a volunteer recruitment pilot which has trialled supporting recruitment initiatives using a more collaborative approach between NHQ and local stations. Key to the success of the campaign has been using local volunteers as the draw-card in their communities to encourage others. Both Taumarunui and Blenheim have had success with this approach, attracting 10 and 6 new volunteers respectively. The pilot is wrapping up and being evaluated, with the goal to develop a package that makes it easy for local brigades and fire forces to complement their local recruitment campaigns.