Sharks, I am asking because I care
By Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th SW commander
/ Published January 18, 2008
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- I directed our 45th Space Wing Equal Opportunity office to conduct a wing-wide climate assessment schedule to start Jan 29. I know we are inundated with surveys and often the time committed to completing a survey is not rewarded. However, I want to assure you that I am determined to address the issues identified within my authority.
I requested this assessment to encourage feedback from our greatest resource - our people. You are the reason this wing has experienced such great success in the past. You are the spirit behind the stellar reputation we so preciously possess within Air Force Space Command. I am very proud to represent you all.
I once heard a wise person make the statement: "People don't care what you know until they know that you care." I believe as leaders we must genuinely listen to our people to better serve them. We should use every instrument at our disposal to gather information. It is irresponsible not to honestly attempt to address identified concerns of our people. It only compromises the survey process and erodes people's confidence in surveys when we as leaders do not step up and respond accordingly to their needs.
The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Each unit member will be given the opportunity to participate in the survey. No one, including the 45 SW/EO, can access your specific survey responses. Absolutely no names or social security numbers are required.
The survey addresses seven areas: Cohesion and Pride; Motivation and Morale; Supervisory Support; Perceived Discrimination; Overt Discriminatory Behaviors; Command EO/EEO Policy; and Locally Developed Questions. The survey consists of 50 questions to include the 10 locally developed questions. There is space for written comments following each area with no character limitations. I highly encourage written comments.
Finally, I strongly urge each commander receiving a report during this assessment to develop a realistic action plan to address trends identified. Provide timely and useful feedback to unit personnel. I will not interfere with how you disseminate the results of your assessment, but I strongly encourage each unit leader to do so in a public forum of your choosing.
After 45 SW/EO provides me with my out-brief, I will conduct a commander's call to share the results wing-wide. The increasing deployment rate, coupled with an ever-changing force, and anxiety associated with draw downs and transformations will undoubtedly factor into the climate of the wing. However, your inputs about today's environment are my very best tool to help all of us develop a way ahead. Your survey inputs are the critical key to a better way ahead! Go Sharks!