The ACT Emergency Services Agency is a 24/7, 365 days a year paid and volunteer workforce spread across the ACT. This includes numerous frontline response stations and sheds from one end of the Territory to the other, to the HQ and support services located at Fairbairn and Hume.
While some staff do sit at a desk each day, the large majority of staff and volunteer members do not. This makes the current practise of using emails and an intranet site highly ‘hit and miss’ when it comes to internal communications. In fact volunteer members cannot even access the organisation’s intranet site.
In early 2015, a very important email sent out to update all staff and volunteers about progress on the ESA’s Strategic Reform Agenda was only opened by around 25% of recipients. This demonstrated that email is not how the vast majority of ESA personnel choose to communicate today.
Enter Round 4 of the Digital Canberra Challenge.
The challenge assigned by the ESA Commissioner Dominic Lane to the Manager, Emergency Media and Broadcasting Services Darren Cutrupi, was to provide the senior executive with a modern digital solution that allowed timely and responsive engagement with its large and diverse workforce.
Over the last 12 weeks, 372 Digital worked closely with the ACT Emergency Services Agency to create the concept for an innovate digital platform to facilitate effective interaction between more than 2500 personnel.
ESA Workforce Connect was developed based on extensive feedback from across the ACT Emergency Services Agency’s workforce and adopting worlds best practise for effective internal communication in 2015. The ESA Workforce Connect app will for the first time allow the ACT Emergency Services Agency to have instant two way communications with its diverse workforce.
This is particularly important for the ACT Emergency Services Agency as it currently works its way through a major change process with the ESA Strategic Reform Agenda, ACT Ambulance Service Blueprint for Change and the Women in Emergency Services initiative.
ESA Workforce Connect will raise internal communication and engagement within the ACT Emergency Services Agency to a whole level. Through digital innovation ESA Workforce Connect will provide real time statistics to the senior executive on the effectiveness of individual communication products or levels of interest in a particular issue in real time. This will provide the ESA Senior Executive with the agility a modern forward thinking organisation needs to fine tune internal communication messaging and strategies in a timely manner to maximise successful workforce engagement.
While the focus during the Digital Canberra Challenge has been on Corporate Communications and Engagement, the ESA Workforce Connect platform could easily be expanded to perform wider functions. For example – Notification of last minute changes to staff rosters.
In a broader sense, 372 Digital understands the challenge that confronted the ACT Emergency Services Agency is repeated across various other ACT Government Directorates.
The benefits outlined above with ESA Workforce Connect could be easily replicated and customised to other ACT Government agencies or directorates using the ‘one government model’. It could provide Director-Generals with a real time two-way communication platform with their whole Directorate, no matter what they’re working arrangements are.
While Digital Canberra Challenge participants were only required to develop a Proof-Of-Concept to be judged on, 372 Digital made a decision to go further and also produce a scaled version of an ESA Workforce Connect prototype to assist the judging panel and the ESA Senior Executive see how the concept can come to life.
To read more about the ESA Workforce Connect case study or the Digital Canberra Challenge, visit https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/sbip/track-record/esa-workforce