Airmen to be evaluated on how they create positive work environment By Tom Roeder

DeM Banter:  I have been out of the office for a bit… but I did see the CSAF’s email.  So we are looking to update our Performance Report system to grade “dignity and respect?”  Let me guess… it will be a Pass or Fail… and everyone will pass.  If you don’t –it will nuke your career and no one will want to do that.  I am not sure I understand how this prevents a toxic work environment or how it promotes better leadership–can anyone help explain? I am about dignity and respect…just not sure how this will help and are we assuming we don’t have dignity and respect now?  If we don’t….why not let Wing or Group Leadership address…isn’t this a leadership issue? Shouldn’t we be going after bigger fish? / View Original / December 26th, 2013

348x450_q75The Air Force this week announced that airmen will be judged on how they create a positive work environment in addition to how well they do their jobs.

The move comes at the end of a year that left the service mired in scandal. The biggest centers on sexual misconduct between recruits and drill instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

In a news release, the Air Force said airmen would be graded on how they contributed to a culture of “dignity and respect.”

Formally adding it to the evaluation paperwork, considered by promotion boards, adds consequences for those who fall short. Basically, the message is those who act out can forget about adding stripes.

Here’s an excerpt from the Air Force news release:

This increased focus is part of the overall Air Force effort to accentuate the emphasis on sexual assault prevention and response but encompasses a great deal more, according to Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, the deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services.

According to the general, organizational climate is defined as the way members in a unit perceive and characterize their unit environment. All Airmen are responsible for creating an organizational climate in which every member is treated with dignity and respect.

“It has always been the duty of every Airman to positively contribute to a healthy organizational climate by being a good wingman, adhering to and enforcing standards, not allowing any action that is harmful to the good order and discipline of the unit, not tolerating sexual assault and harassment or any type of discrimination, and of course, building an environment based on a foundation of dignity and respect,” Cox said. “This modification to policy now reinforces our responsibilities for organizational climate, ensures it is discussed during feedback and mandates its consideration on every Airman’s evaluation.”


2 Replies to “Airmen to be evaluated on how they create positive work environment By Tom Roeder”

  1. Curious what kind of reactions you have gotten about this, Bill. Implementing this kind of system structurally is a nightmare at its best. One thing the military has to its advantage is an acceptance of compliance when told to do something. Will that be enough to make it work in practice as it laid out in theory?

  2. Something else I would like to add, and I apologize for it being of a negative tone…
    Unfortunately, in a lot of these cases where the issue centers on culture and behavior, these changes typically get dictated by a leadership that points the finger at others telling them ‘you need to change’ when they are the ones who are modelling the wrong behaviors and need to change most. This causes frustration and departure among those who are actually doing the right things right leaving behind an even weaker organization full of people who mimic the handicapped leadership. Why do people forget the old schoolhouse saying, “When you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you.”? Culture change requires painful soul searching by leadership, acceptance of the present reality being a result of their own doing, and an emotionally driven, personal commitment to change their own behaviors.

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