The organization in relation to its purpose and its stakeholders Identify your organization and describe its purpose Fire and Rescue Services in the United Kingdom are established under legislation which dates back to 1947. Following a review of the Fire Service in July 2004 the Fire and Rescue Services Act became law and it has brought about a number of reforms to achieve modernization. This has meant a shift in emphasis from responding to protecting and preventing. Responsibilities are laid out in the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 and the Fire and Rescue National Framework 2008-2011.
Other duties are required to be carried out under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 with other emergency services and agencies. Our mission statement – making communities safer – tells us why we are here. It makes sure that everything we do to achieve our vision is in line with our reason for being here. Everything we do is with that in mind. The vision is where we are going – we aim to help create safer communities in Leister, Lectureship and Rutland ELF&RS has published a 3 year strategic plan “Our Plan: 2009-2012. This contains the vision, aims and objectives over the next 3 years.
In conjunction with this is an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMA) which is a strategic document setting out our approach to risk management through our prevention, protection and response arrangements. Prior to publication they are both sent out to stakeholders for consultation. Explain your organization’s structure, functional areas and managerial roles in relation to its purpose The Fire and Rescue Service is managed on behalf of the Combined Fire Authority (which is made up of 17 Councilors from across the service area and from the 3 main political parties) by the Chief Fire and Rescue
Officer, who also acts as Chief Executive. There are four Directorates: Community Safety Organizational Development Corporate Resources Finance and Corporate Risk Together they form the Corporate Management Board (COMB). Below the COMB is the Senior Management Team (SMS) which consists of heads of departments, known as Area Managers. The Smut’s role is to advise the COMB on future policy and strategy development. In addition, they are responsible for the delivery of the service development and improvement programmer.
ELF&RS are very keen to show that there is a “golden thread” which traces the vision wrought to the front line staff. This is promulgated via Middle Managers and Watch Managers’ seminars, together with information on our intranet, known as Sharpening. It is also important that objectives set in employees’ appraisals are linked to the overall mission. The objectives are also the basis of the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMA) which departments use to formulate their Local Risk Management Plan (ALARM).
Organizations are structured in different ways depending on their objectives, systems and procedures, and culture. Structures can and need to evolve in order to meet changing circumstances. The following gram shows the structure of Laics Fire & Rescue Service: [pica] Looking at the structure it initially appears to be hierarchical, however nothing appears quite as it seems and several structures are apparent: Tall The SMS lends itself to a tall structure as Team Leaders report to a Group Manager who reports to an Area Manager who reports to one of the four Directors.
Centralized/De-centralized It could also be said, because of the responsibility of the SMS, that this is a centralized structure. However the very nature of the Fire Service means that a lot of departments are not located in one area (20 fire stations) and certain excisions/budget are devolved to station level so it could be deemed to be De- centralized. Flat The fire stations operate a flat structure in that watches consist of a number of fire-fighters who have a Watch Manager who reports to a Station Manager.
Matrix Within any large organization teams are set up to manage projects and they operate autonomously until the project is complete. Such recent projects within ELF&RS include the Northern and Retained Reviews. Even though this can be confusing with several types of structure within one organization it ultimately serves the purpose of meeting the needs of the organization.
Within ELF&RS there are seven different management roles which are attributed to the operational side (support staff managers are aligned accordingly but not attributed with the title): Senior Managers: Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Deputy Chief Fire Officer and 2 Assistant Chief Fire Officers Responsible for strategic decisions Middle Managers: Group Managers Station Managers Responsible for making strategic decisions happen Have specialized understanding/knowledge Area Managers Lunch-pin in ensuring information flows up and down organization’s structure Supervisory Managers: Watch Managers Crew Managers The do-errs!
This is how all Fire & Rescue Services should be structured and the responsibilities are clearly laid out in the “role map”. As well as operational staff there are 130 support staff who carry out key functions in occupational health and safety, finance, human resources, admit, democratic services, fleet management, property maintenance and information technology. Identify your organization’s stakeholders and explain their objectives The Fire and Rescue Services Act has introduced effective and flexible stakeholder advisory and consultative forums to ensure advice from producers and users of the Service an inform future direction.
ELF&RS has many stakeholders, internal and external, who have different relationships to the Service and have different parts to play: The Government/Communities and Local Government (CLC): This is the Government Department which provides all Fire Services guidance (ii the F&RS National Framework 2008-2011) , direction and funding. The Combined Fire Authority: The SFA is the ‘governing body’ of ELF&RS and their role is to provide an efficient Fire and Rescue Service within its area in accordance with various legislative requirements covering the provision of service, specifically under The
Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. Employees of ELF&RS (producers) Deliver ELF&RS’s vision through prevention, protection and response. The public (users) Provide some funding via Council Tax. Encouraged to be responsible for own actions (through delivery of Home Fire Safety Checks, campaigns etc). Unions The Fire Brigades’ Union campaigns and lobbies on key issues. Other Emergency Services ELF&RS works closely with other emergency services both at planning stages for events and at incidents. Suppliers ELF&RS currently spends about E million per year on a wide range of goods and services.
It must ensure that the money it receives through taxation is used as efficiently as possible and that it achieves best value in the use of this money. Media Attend major incidents, feature campaigns. Would suggest that most people would say the public would be the main stakeholder as the end-user. However there is a stakeholder matrix which is used to assess how much power and influence they have to an organization. Using this then influences how much attention/priority the organization should allocate to each.
High influence Low influence I Stakeholders who stand to lose or gain significantly AND I Stakeholders ho stand to lose or gain significantly from I loose actions can affect the organization’s ability to meet I the organization BUT whose actions cannot affect the I I its objectives to meet its objectives I I The Government/CLC I I The Combined Fire Authority I The public I Unions I organization’s ability I Suppliers I Other Emergency Services Stakeholders whose actions can affect the organization’s I Stakeholders who do not stand to lose or gain much from I liability to meet its objectives BUT who do not stand to lose I the organization AND whose actions cannot affect the I or gain much I I Media
I organization’s ability to meet its objectives It can therefore be seen that those with high influence and high importance are the key stakeholders and their interests should be represented. Those with low influence but high importance should also be represented and kept satisfied. Those with high influence and low importance should be involved to ‘keep them on board’ and informed. Those with low importance/influence are not key stakeholders and can effectively be ignored. As a result of the publication of the Northern Review the media have recently highlighted in a local newspaper the possibility that a retained fire station may lose. This has caused the union to get involved and has caused much unrest with the local community. This clearly highlights how important the public are.
The role of management in achieving goals Describe the specific responsibilities of middle managers in enabling your organization to achieve its goals Under the F&RS Integrated Personal Development System (BIDS) there are several personal qualities and attributes (Pass) which middle managers are assessed against: Commitment to diversity and integrity – promoting and managing diversity and demonstrating a fair and ethical approach in all situations Openness to change – proactively supporting change, seeking opportunities to promote improved organizational effectiveness Confidence and resilience – consistently projecting and promoting a confident, controlled and focused attitude in highly challenging situations Working with others – leading, involving and motivating others both within the F&RS and in the community Effective communication – communicating effectively both orally and in writing Commitment to development – committed and able to develop self, individuals and teams to improve organizational effectiveness
Problem solving – understanding and applying relevant information to make appropriate decisions which reflect key priorities and requirements Situational awareness – maintaining an active awareness of the environment to promote safe and effective working Commitment to excellence – leading groups to achieve excellence by the establishment, maintaining and managing performance requirements Planning and implementing – creating and implementing effective plans to delver a range of organizational objectives Political/organizational awareness – recognizing the potential political impact ND implications of actions from a strategic perspective These are primarily for operational staff but there is an expectation that all middle managers fulfill these roles. Middle managers relay strategic objections from senior managers to their subordinates . They set local targets, defined within the Local Risk Management Plan, review and evaluate, and report back to senior managers. Communication is therefore crucial in the organization to ensure everyone fully understands their roles and responsibilities.
Middle managers play an important role in promulgating information to their staff from Enron managers in an appropriate manner and understandable language to ensure duties are carried out efficiently and effectively, as we have a duty as “public servants” to provide value for money. In essence they make it “real”. Various systems are in place to enable middle managers to provide evaluation on targets to senior managers, and provide data for Best Value Performance Indicators (Balls) and national reports to CLC. Adder’s Action Centered Leadership model can be used to show how middle managers can show achievement towards the organization’s goals: [pica] By Achieving the Task By Developing the Team
By Developing Individuals Importantly as well, Adair set out these core functions of leadership and says they are vital to the Action Centered Leadership model: Planning – seeking information, defining tasks, setting aims Initiating – briefing, task allocation, setting standards Controlling – maintaining standards, ensuring progress, ongoing decision-making Supporting – individuals’ contributions, encouraging, team spirit, reconciling, morale Informing – clarifying tasks and plans, updating, receiving feedback and interpreting Evaluating – feasibility of ideas, performance, enabling self assessment Following training, ELF middle managers are involved in recruiting staff, conduct appraisals and performance management and absence management, in accordance with service procedures. Middle managers are specialists within their department or team, ii training, fire protection (legislation), purchasing, HER, and within the Community Safety Support Group (CSS), within which the Prince’s Trust Team sits, prevention through education and diversion.
CSS Middle managers are involved in the Community Safety Strategy which supports the vision, strategic aims and objectives set out in “Our Plan”. The F&RS National Framework states that prevention programmer will remain at the heart of the work of the Authorities in local communities. The community safety activity we engage in is designed to inform, support and encourage responsibility amongst the citizens of our communities. The Prince’s Trust Team is a full-time 12 week personal development programmer for unemployed 16-25 year olds. By encouraging the young people who take part to, not only gain a nationally recognized qualification, be more aware of their actions and consequences it is hoped that they become more socially inclusive and better citizens within their community.
As manager of the Prince’s Trust Team am responsible for: Delivering a defined number of Teams per year Ensuring a certain number of Team members are recruited and retained Of those a certain percentage gain a recognized qualification Of those a certain percentage go onto a positive outcome (education, training or employment) Therefore using Adair core functions of management, the task is defined and I have to plan the resources accordingly. Staff are set targets via the annual appraisal system. I hold staff meetings on a regular basis where can share relevant information from ELF&RS and discuss statistics. I then eave monthly meetings with the CSS Manager where he shares corporate information and I update him on progress towards targets. Evaluation takes place after each Team and on a yearly basis. I am also responsible for budgeting so that funding for the young people on the programmer (via the Learning & Skills Council) covers salaries and running costs, including the provision of vehicles. To put it into context our funding contract is over per year.
The effect of communication and interpersonal relationships on managerial performance Explain the positive and negative effects that interpersonal relationships and immunization skills can have on managerial performance in your organization Some of the key attributes a good manager should have are: Approachable Supportive Motivating Organized Assertive Communication Knowledge Unbiased/fair Honest We are not perfect and managers are unlikely to possess all of the skills required and need to develop further within the management role. Some managers however have the opposite of the above which will have an adverse effect on interpersonal relationships and the individual, which can ultimately affect performance. One of the key attributes is communication and lack of immunization or poor communication is often cited as a barrier to efficient and effective working.
We all have different ways in which we prefer to communicate which can be summarized using the acronym VARY which is principally used to assess learning styles: Visual – prefer to see, ii “picture this” Auditory – prefer to hear, tend not to have eye contact, hold head to one side Read/write – prefer to write information down Kinetics (also known as touch) It is as important to listen as to speak (why we have two ears and one mouth! ). Any effective communication needs to take into account: Delivery – method (face to face, one-to-one, e-mail, phone) Clarity Relevance Understanding – need confirmation that it is understood Environment – an appraisal would not take place in public!
Language – don’t use jargon/slang It is interesting that according to Marianne/Argyle: 7% of meaning of communication is verbal 38% is down to how we say it, volume, pitch etc 55% is visual, eye contact, body language Within ELF communication is as follows: Body language Two-way Time Weekly update – an e-mail is sent to all staff and is in 2 parts, essential and general information. This is also available on Sharpening which all staff have access to. I believe this is an effective tool as long as employees take on the responsibility to read it. Employees cannot say “nobody told me”. Sharpening – this has a wealth of information including policies and procedures. Directors visit each station for an open forum, generally twice a year, all employees at that station are encouraged to attend and put any questions forward. Middle manager and watch manager seminars – generally held quarterly with an agenda with items which are current in nature.
These always have input from one of the COMB members and there is always a Q session at the end. Meetings departmental meetings should be held on a regular basis for the flow of information and share ideas/best practice. Identify barriers to communication and effective interpersonal relationships in your organization and devise strategies to overcome these in your own area of work If you have people whose preferred method of communicating is different there may be some difficulty in comprehension. A manager has to be aware of how they are communicating and vary the method of communication depending on what message they are trying to get across.
No matter how good the communication system in an organization s, unfortunately barriers can and do often occur and can be divided into people and process: People: Personality conflicts which can result in people delaying or refusing to communicate – this will always occur Personal attitudes of individual employees which may be due to lack of motivation or dissatisfaction at work, brought about by insufficient training to enable them to carry out particular tasks, or just resistance to change due to entrenched attitudes and ideas, and has to take into account personal circumstances Process: Environment, ii location of staff at different fire stations, together with aground noise, lighting, heating Technology, ii remote working is slow Structure, ii do all employees know who to communicate with Content, should be specific and relevant and cover all that is needed in a succinct way, ii why use 100 words when 1 will do. ELF tends to use Atlas (three letter acronyms! ) which is fine if everyone understands what they mean. Within ELF the widespread use of e-mail has meant that some verbal communication has been lost, not necessarily a bad thing as the benefit of e-mail is that it is written and therefore a record, however the physical aspect of emotion, body engage is lost.
Messages can easily be misinterpreted whereas a phone call would have been more efficient and effective. The use of Sharpening is excellent in that it has the capacity for all documents to be stored, on sites for both individual and departments, and then a departmental portal which can be viewed by all employees. All current forms and policies and procedures can be found. However, navigating it is a problem and the search facility does not work properly. This leads to much frustration and wasting of time. A potential pitfall would be if employees saved documents (once found! ) onto an individual imputer and may not then be aware of updates. Rumors are rife, as with all organizations.
Is it up to management to dispel them? The response to the rumor that a fire station is going to close would be that a decision has not been made, however it does not stop the rumor. I doubt that rumors could ever be eradicated. The HER Department have tried to hold Employee Forums in an effort to share knowledge, get to know each other in an informal setting, however these have not been well attended and several have been cancelled. Presumably the HER Department are looking at whether the purpose of the meeting has been communicated correctly. From an operational point of view it is imperative that there are no barriers as lives depend on it.
Control staff are trained to interpret calls from the public to ascertain the emergency of it and allocate resources appropriately. Firefighters attending incidents have to have clear channels of communication to ensure the safety of the public and themselves. Because e- mails tend to be the main form of communication am aware that the tone of e- mails has to be correct – a manager rang me and said that an e-mail I had sent to one of his staff had been “harsh”. I re-read it and did not see that at all. However am now more conscious of this. I also know that when I am tired or overloaded with work I can be sharp in my verbal tone. Being aware does not always stop me but I do now apologies!
Development of opportunities Critically assess own knowledge, skills, personal attributes and behavior and their effect on own managerial ability Every ELF employee has an appraisal covering: Performance over the last 6/12 months, achieved objectives/targets, areas of good performance Areas of performance to be developed further or any other problems or constraints Agreed priority objectives/targets for next 12 months (including any Corporate Plan objectives/targets) Review of development and training over last 12 months Agreed future development Any ideas to improve the service/efficiency of the section/department/ authority Any other matters Manager’s comments Employee’s comments have a very good knowledge of the Prince’s Trust Team programmer and what am expected to manage and deliver on behalf of our partnership with the Prince’s Trust and how this links in to the ELF aims and objectives. I believe that I am: Knowledgeable All managers will manage differently as no two people are the same.