Many organizations face the same question every year: Whatchanges need to be made to improve the workplace? The organization that I have been a part of that needs improvements wouldbe the United States Air Force. There are three main issues I have seen in thisorganization that I would like to change.Technology is not functional for day to day operations because of being outdated, management and leadership need to focus more on commanding so employees will know what to do when given good ordersand beating communication breakdowns.Every Airman needs to understand why their organization ismoving in a certain direction. Whenchange is announced, people will haveconcerns. It is up to your management to make sure that everyone understandswhy the change is happening and what the benefitsare. The key to that is clear communication.
The Air Force has misleadinginformation that I have experienced when it comes to communication. AFIs tend tobe bendable when it comes to dress and appearance because of communication or lack there of. As a female I hada shorter none fad hairstyle per AFI36-2903. My leadership had considered it to be afad hairstyle per their interupritation of the regulation. I was then askedto change my hairstyle even though I was within the limits of the regulations forhair.
In the meantime, there were other females with the same haircut that did not have to change. Thisexample shows lack of communication as an entire Air Force. The CSAF has founddifficulty in getting information from his level to wing commanders and, inturn, to other supervisors and airman in general.
As a result, too few senior leaders and supervisors receiveaccurate information from the CSAF and Air staff. For being such a large entity,the Air Force needs to improve on four essentialcharacteristics of communication; clarity, reach, speed, and impact. Effective communication must linkwords with actions and at the same time, it must be clear and transparent. (Berry, Dunwoody, Lewis, & Winston, 2016)General Welsh came apparent to this communication problem andpresently there is no overall USAF communication strategy “Connecting the dots”of internal and external communication with the decisions and actions of theAir Force.
(Berry, Dunwoody, Lewis, & Winston, 2016) The Air Force usesserval slogans to define the Air Forces purposes, including “Aim high”; “World’sgreatest Air Force: Powered by Airman, Fluedby Innovation” However there is not a single core message that permeates and connectsits communication. There is no consistent set of priorities from leadership ormanagement to beating communications breakdowns between everyone. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Communicating is alsosomething managers and leaders must adapt. The art of leadership is vital tothe military. The organization must recognize that it needs to develop futureleaders that have skill sets that are much expanded.
Supporting employees isimportant. Merely ordering people to do things because “I said so” may work inthe short run but in the long run this approach will fail. (Matthews, 2014) I have personally heardthat before. I was an alturnate record custodian for my supervisor. I went tothe week-long class to be qualified. As I am reorganizing and getting rid ofpapers that no longer needed to be kept my supervisor kept insisting that I didnot shred them.
In my class that I took in 2013, I learned that after sevenyears the paper is no longer needed. My supervisor kept insisting that I keep oldfiles because he told me so. Managers and supervisors needto be there to empower employees and support employees. Truly lead by example.Sometimes we believe that means running the fastest in PT or having a sharp lookinguniform. While those things help, it ment more to me when I saw my leadershiplead by doing the mission better than I thought was possible given theirresponsibilities as my leadership. Their type of commanding influenced me to bebetter.
Management operates through various functions. The organizing functioncreates the pattern of relationships among workers and makes optimal use ofresources to enable the accomplished of business plans, objectives and goals. (Creating Strategy: Common Approaches, n.d.)For my final change, I wouldchange the technology that I had to use on a day to day basis. The very firstthing I would change is a better email system. Microsoft outlook takes way tolong to load.
Using outdated technology makes me waste my time. Another factorthat I have seen is the storage space in outlook is small. There have been afew times on deployments that I spent hours decluttering my email to make sureI am reachable.
The email process for the Air Force is slow and sometimes too consuming.It took almost two years just to get windows ten on my work computer, whenwindows ten was released July 2015. Updates like this can effectively help theAir Force community.The Air Force needs to assess theorganizations technological needs. It needs to be identified by the different agenciesthat the Air Force has, and then address the issues at hand.
Then once the technicalrequirements are defined, they then need to determine applicable technologiesfor the different organizations. That can lead to the potential scouting ofwhat other bases have in plan to use as well in the future to help Airmansucceed. Scouting involves isolating and applying new technologies to its currentmodels.Frequent targets of organizationalchange can be implemented to change an organization’s mission, strategy,structure, technology or culture. Culture change allows the Air Force to focuson making improvements, refocus the objectives, or achieve specific goals andresults. Communication, a structure in leadership and technology changes willmake improvements to the overall operation. These changes are important.
Themilitary, given its importance to this nation, must be the forebear in developingbetter ways to address these issues.