Having an issue in the workplace is tough, but you more often than not have professionals that you can talk to in the human resources department, through your union representative or your manager.
What happens in a volunteer organisation? Where you are meeting maybe once a week for a training night, but the rest of the time is usually due to emergency responses and more focused on the tasks that are coming in and keeping each other safe in the field than how we work together.
The NSW SES VA had its first formal training session yesterday on how to be an effective Contact Officer. The training, delivered by iHR Australia, detailed the importance and the specifications of the role and how it related to the Region Representatives in the VA.
Taking the ‘toolbox’ approach, the training provided the Representatives with some basic tools around the procedures for helping fellow members with issues that may be happening and how to provide sound advice on what options are available to them.
Charlie Moir, the VA President, has been working closely with the SES to get the grievance processes and policies formalised so members have access to clear and logical resolution procedures and the Contact Officer training helps provide Representatives with the understanding of how to help members work their way through what can be an intimidating or daunting process- starting with the most simple and locally-focussed approach through to escalation procedures and what to expect.
The VA will be looking at options as to how to roll additional training out to Unit Representatives, as well as building a sustainable training solution for the future.