Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

As the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) develops our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, we need the input and diverse perspectives of the entire FEMA team, the stakeholders we serve, and the partners we work with every day. We need your help to inform our future vision, direction, strategic goals, and operational objectives.

The Agency is seeking feedback and engagement from our partners and stakeholders here. This is our first step in a new cycle of listening to employees at all levels, and stakeholders from state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector about how we could do things better.

Please feel free to comment on or discuss this topic between now and October 5, 2017.

Topic Area 3

  • Discuss possible ways FEMA could improve its business processes to make them more effective, efficient, and accountable for employees, partners, and survivors.
  • Discuss possible ways for FEMA to improve employee recruitment, development, training, and retention.

Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by

Evaluations for reservists

The evaluation required from a JFO for a reservists is inadequate at best and I believe underutilized as a result. The evaluation needs to be revised from pass fail to a 1-10 scale on each item (items need revision as well) with a written explanation required for each item with special emphasis placed on the upper and lower limits to include recommendations for improvement on the lower end and recommendations for the ...more »

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16 votes
18 up votes
2 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by (@robert.patten)

IM Rotational Assignments for PFTs

FEMA should consider offering rotational assignments in the IM workforce to PFTs. There are many PFTs who actually enjoy field work and being directly involved with recovery. They also enjoy the stability of a PFT position. They might not be willing to give up their PFT position for an IM-CORE, but they would take a rotational assignment to be primarily IM-deployable or deployed to disasters for one or two years. ...more »

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12 votes
15 up votes
3 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by (@schums)

Language Line and Spanish interpreters

As part of the Disaster Assistance Call Center, we have received an abundance of Spanish-speaking calls. ISSUES: 1. Many people utilize the Language Line (LL) interpreters for Spanish interpretation, but wait times can be up to an hour long. I struggle in communicating the possible wait time and therefore the survivor is not aware of the possible hour long wait.. There have been instances the survivor hangs up the ...more »

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11 votes
12 up votes
1 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by (@wanda.taliaferroyoung)

SENIOR-FLEX WORK FROM HOME CALL CENTER

FEMA would greatly benefit by implementing a 55+ workforce for positions as Senior-Flex Work From Home Call Center Specialists. The agency is already strained with 85% of its workforce deployed, and the hurricane season is not over. Many “highly skilled” senior workers spend decades developing professionalism. They show responsibility, act ethically, demonstrate strong communication, interpersonal and problem solving ...more »

Voting

24 votes
28 up votes
4 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by

Exercise improvement

Exercises should be conducted by other FEMA regions as opposed to contractors. This would be a great learning experience for both regions and lower the cost. We end up training the contractors and getting exercises that are not realistic and therefor have little benefit. A depository of exercises could be kept so we don't reinvent the wheel every time and would just need to update the existing exercise library and rotate ...more »

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1 vote
1 up votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by

Train and vet employees before deployment

Until FQS truly works, which will take years along with employee retention, we cannot deploy staff without vetting them for their specific disaster assignment. We cannot deploy every employee because they are available. Some field staff were not trained, equipped, or fit for deployment to the field. Poor decisions contribute to extra unnecessary stress of those deployed. This needs to change immediately. Even an effective ...more »

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0 votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by

Watch configuration in each region

The agency doesn't need a complete watch staff in each region - waste of tax dollars - the agency could have one or two watch centers working all ten regions and they could be located in a cost effective location. Operations should do the watch duties on a daily basis when possible with the national center taking over after hours and on weekends. If we know an event is on the horizon the region could decide to activate ...more »

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2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by (@warren.welch)

Tax Exemption Certificates by Travel or Billeting

A lot of time could be saved corporately by some simple changes. When billeting or travel makes reservations for employees on FEMA business, it would seem they could also provide the tax certificates same. This would be such an improvement and I would think the hotels would also appreciate this simple act. this would not take the responsibility from the employees but would save so much in dulicate of effort and instructions ...more »

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0 votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by (@scottzaffram)

FQS Position Matches for Experienced/Skilled Staff

FQS positions do not necessarily match experience, ability, skillsets, and tenure. There are a large number of PFT staff that do not have appropriate IM titles to deploy, so instead of being one of the first out the door they get delayed in the system and often only get deployed for DSA surge type mission support. A lost opportunity; we need to fix this! As an example, I know of a GS15 Response Division Director that ...more »

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2 votes
3 up votes
1 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by

Project Managers at FEMA should be following Industry Standards

All project managers at FEMA should be following the industry standard for managing projects, but in my observation most have no idea what those standards are. Development of project charters will ensure that projects align with strategic objectives of FEMA and each component, yet I don't see this happening. My recommendation is that project managers be required to be knowledgeable and be able to apply concepts taught ...more »

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2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by

CORE Positions at RO's

We currently hire CORE positions to run our Recovery Offices. The best qualified staff come from the reservist cadre but they are not willing to apply due to a policy that can be easily changed. If we guarantee them the return to the reservist status they currently hold, pay and position, most would apply and help the agency close out the disasters. Currently if you take a temporary CORE position when the office closes ...more »

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Submitted by

FQS

Almost all FEMA employees have had several positions on disasters based on staffing needs. When FQS was put in place this information was lost so we now have a great need for staff and we have capable staff not deployed because we don't know what they can and have done in the past. This is the worst policy possible for the Agency and the country. Force structure is always mentioned but is it not possible to have a main ...more »

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9 votes
9 up votes
0 down votes
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