Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Cross-training is key to improved citizen, SLTT, and employee CX

When you ask a FEMA employee why they work here they often say a variation on "I was drawn to the mission" or "I want to help someone on their worst day". Yet, in our day-to-day work, the perspective of those we serve is missing. If we don’t know what they need and how much it matters to them then how can we best serve them? This is the third of three proposals on how we can reframe what we do to better understand ...more »

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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Citizen and customer need should drive our programs

When you ask a FEMA employee why they work here they often say a variation on "I was drawn to the mission" or "I want to help someone on their worst day". Yet, in our day-to-day work, the perspective of those we serve is missing. If we don’t know what they need and how much it matters to them then how can we best serve them? Establish a central citizen experience, customer experience, and/or community experience function ...more »

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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Citizen or SLTT customers' needs should drive our programs

When you ask a FEMA employee why they work here they often say a variation on "I was drawn to the mission" or "I want to help someone on their worst day". Yet, in our day-to-day work, the perspective of those we serve is missing. One of the chief complaints from states and locals is that we wear one shirt, we should be one FEMA. They mean that they are frustrated by having to go to 18 different program leads and getting ...more »

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Improve Communication between EA and the Program Offices

The personnel in External Affairs (EA) are not always well versed in FEMA's programs. As a result of EA's focus on communications, they tend to change the words to something that may look or sound better, but also changes the meaning of what the program office is trying to convey. Because EA personnel are not educated in the details and language of the program, as EA reviews a document for publication, it can inadvertently ...more »

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FQS vetting for Training Requirements

There should be a vetting order for FQS trainings. It is hard to get into training courses that are required in PTB's. Reservists in a 602 course I attended advised that they never deploy, but are put into the courses. Several of the same Reservists are taking up space in courses that I need in order to do my everyday job, but I can't get into the course. Course registration should be vetted more strictly. Those ...more »

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Disparate Treatment by Supervisors

Morale issues stem from organization culture problems. I continue to hear about instances and have witnessed supervisors participating in nepotism, favoritism, and disparate treatment of subordinate staff members. Directors, Deputy Directors, and all staff in supervisor positions should attend 601, 602, and 603 training. There needs to be a credentialing coordinator ensuring that all these folks have completed this ...more »

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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

New Employee Orientation

All new employees should be required to take ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800 at EMO/FMO. Additionally, they should print the certificate for verification that it was taken. When taking ICS 300/400 in Anniston it was received that their were several employees who had not take these courses prior to being enrolled in the course. They had a really hard time in ICS 300/400. ICS 300/400 courses are geared for local first ...more »

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Improving FEMA Internal Processes and Human Capital

Acronyms

National Incident Management System Alerts “strongly encourage” plain language internally. “Acronyms and Coined Words”; “DHS Lexicon, Acronyms and Abbreviations”; DHS Plain Language Guide; Plain Writing Act of 2010; Executive Orders; and National Incident Management System advise using plain language or avoiding acronyms. Do acronyms benefit anyone other than a writer? The reader is forced to hunt through a document ...more »

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Imrpove physical work space for employees & survivors

The open office environment presents a number of challenges for a diverse workforce. Persons who are introverts, persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder, persons with multiple chemical sensitivities or other allergies all struggle to perform in an open office environment. Persons with fragrance and chemical sensitivities represent 15-30% of the population, introverts are 30-50% of the population. FEMA should design its ...more »

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Develop alternative routes for Leadership Development

As a new employee entering FEMA with a substantial military background, there is a disparity between my leadership ability and my job roles. My supervisor has acknowledged this but only seems about to point me toward the DHS Leadership Development Program (LDP) for career progression opportunities. As a GS-12 (which I was in my civilian/military career), in FEMA, I hold a non-supervisory role. In my military capacity, ...more »

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DTS-Re-Structured for Deployments

DTS Deployment System: Current system hinders JFO deployments for initial response or back-fills. IMATs are always deployed first-that’s their job. Boots on the ground once the DR is declared. DTS deployments then/always start with PFT’s then go down the deployment line. The PFT NEVER Accepts nor do they Decline a DTS request. [24 hours passes before the DTS system moves on to the next below level] Next in line IMCORE—they ...more »

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Concurrence Process Should Minimize Bikeshedding

At FEMA, the concurrence process often stops a good idea from becoming a good policy. Many FEMA and DHS employees spend most of their time moving proposals through concurrence. Many reviewers have the knowledge and interest necessary to provide great feedback. Some will not. Unnecessary review costs money, hurts morale and stifles innovation. We need to make sure that key stakeholders, and only key stakeholders, review ...more »

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