SA Arid Lands Senior Communications Officer Cherie Gerlach is one of the Chief Executive’s Staff Forum (internal access only) representatives who can bring your burning questions or issues directly to the CE every 6 weeks.
Read on to learn about her experiences with the CE Staff Forum.
What do you find valuable and enjoy about the CE Staff Forum?
What has been most valuable has been the willingness of the CE to hear from staff at all levels, rather than only at the management level, and take on board suggestions in relation to the reform process.
This has included getting IT involved early in the change process as well as changes to the draft high-level reform structure released late last year to show where Landscape Boards will fit. There is also now a process where staff can directly put forward suggestions on changes to create efficiencies and improve processes.
I think what many in the room appreciate is the openness of the CE to answer questions as well as commit time to the forum and follow up on suggestions.
The forum also provides an opportunity to hear questions and concerns of other areas and network with people from across the organisation, and being involved makes you feel like you are part of an organisation that values staff feedback.
It is also valuable to be able to pass information directly to staff in the region from the forum which is then reinforced by similar messages from managers.
How do you engage with your colleagues to gather questions or comments from them and report back?
I do this formally via email, seeking any questions or comments to take to the meeting and then taking responses back to individuals. Staff also invite me to attend staff meetings to provide an update and answer questions where I can and then take questions further.
After attending a CE Forum meeting I also send out an email updating all staff on discussions within a day or two of the meeting.
What feedback have you received from your colleagues about the process? Has the information helped in staff understanding what is happening at DEW?
From what people have told me, they appreciate receiving timely information in regards to the reform process from a fellow staff member and being able to talk to someone if they need to clarify anything or have any questions.
What are you looking forward to with the forum in 2019?
Given the reform process is ramping up, I see even more value in the CE forums over the next 6 to 12 months and look forward to the forums being a way to ensure the CE is hearing from staff, and then providing staff with up to date information.
For more information and to find out who your nearest representative is, visit the Reshaping DEW CE Staff Forum iShare page (internal access only).
Keep an eye out for more profiles of CE Staff Forum representatives in upcoming editions of The Weekly.