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Research findings-hot off the press
CFA members are highly committed to the wellbeing of their fellow members.
An example of this commitment was the high level of participation in our recent wellbeing research project. There were 932 responses received from CFA members across the state which makes the findings statistically significant and a very successful outcome for the project.
Why conduct research on wellbeing?
That’s simple. We wanted to know what members really think about wellbeing! In particular Organisational Wellbeing wanted to seek members opinions in relation to:
• their level of confidence in supporting fellow members/employees
• possible improvements to Welfare Services
• tailoring communication methods about Welfare Services to engage members more effectively
• members beliefs about Welfare Services
• innovative ways in which to provide Welfare Services to CFA members and their immediate families.
What was done to promote the wellbeing research?
We implemented a number of strategies to promote the wellbeing research including personal visits to brigades by personnel who are focussed on member wellbeing. This included visits by Peers across the states, promotion by Regional Wellbeing Committee members and lots of promotion with a multitude of stakeholders within CFA (including Directors and Managers in CFA Burwood as well as Regionally) as well as those closely linked such as VFBV. In addition we wrote to every Brigade Secretary in the state asking them to promote the research in their Brigade. Thanks to every person who helped with the promotion.
What did we find out?
Your level of confidence in supporting you fellow members/employees
It was no surprise here that CFA members are experienced and on the whole very confident in supporting fellow members.
- 89% of respondents are confident in identifying when another member is getting stressed and 85% are confident they can assist another member who is feeling stressed
- 67% are confident they can help another member who is feeling down and 81% are confident they can help another member who is thinking negatively about a stressful situation
- 92% are confident they can be a good listener for another member who is going through a hard time and 75% are confident they can help another member adapt his/her coping in a stressful situation
- 92% are confident they can encourage another member to seek assistance when they need it and 84% are confident they can direct another member to find support services in CFA
- And 93% of respondents are confident they can fulfil their responsibility to fellow members by keeping an eye on their welfare.
Members beliefs about using Welfare Services
In particular we were interested in identifying the personal views that prevent members accessing the supports that are in place.
- 49% of respondents believe that they would not be embarrassed to seek support & 73% believe that their career or position in the organisation would not be harmed if they sought support.
- 61% of respondents believe that seeking support has no impact on the confidence that members of their team or brigade might have in them and 64% believe that they would not be treated differently by the leaders in their team or brigade if they sought support.
- 74% of respondents believe that others would not blame them for the problems if they sought help, 66% believed that seeking support has no connection to being viewed as weak and 70% believe their general standing within the brigade or CFA would be unaffected if they sought support.
- 57% of respondents believe that schedule an appointment for support is not difficult, 70% believe it would be relatively easy to be released from work or personal commitments for appointments
- Only 13% of respondents might not seek support because they don’t know where to get help. This one helps to reaffirm that members know about the services that exist for them and their immediate family members.
It appears that there is a significant difference in opinions when it comes to support and people dealing with the problems
- 46% of respondents believe that they might not seek support because they want to deal with problems themselves and conversely 54% disagree with that statement.
- 33% believe they might not seek support because their brigade uses internal processes to deal with welfare needs and conversely 67% disagree with that statement.
Tailoring communication methods about Welfare Services to engage members more effectively
Innovative ways in which to provide Welfare Services to CFA members and their immediate families.
CFA members indicated that in addition to the face to face/by telephone/at an incident and other traditional ways that Welfare Services are provided, they would personally use Online problem solving products (39%) and online counselling type services (40%)
Possible improvements to Welfare Services
In considering possible improvements we found the following information useful
- The services are well respected and well utilised. Of the 301 respondents who indicated they had accessed the welfare services, 85% were satisfied with the level of support they received and 65% valued the Welfare Services because of the professionalism of their provider. Well done to all the Welfare Services providers that include peers, chaplains and mental health professionals. Proposed action –Organisational Wellbeing continue to develop and enhance the existing programs to ensure satisfaction levels from our members.
- 16% of respondents might not seek support because they felt their trust has previously been breached. Proposed action – Organisational Wellbeing will continue to investigate statements about breaches of trust and take appropriate action on these matters.
- 61% of respondents (n=687) value CFA’s Welfare Services because it is free of charge.
- Innovative ways to provide service - Proposed action – Organisational Wellbeing will investigate Online problem solving products and online counselling type services to enhance the existing services that exist.
- Tailoring communication methods about Welfare Services to engage members more effectively - Proposed action – Organisational Wellbeing will investigate email groups and a dedicated social media point for wellbeing related information. We will also continue to promote via Brigade magazine wherever possible.
More information will be released in the coming months. The final full report including member comments is currently being compiled by the research company and will be presented in mid-December 2012.