The Call - Issue 29 - 18

Continued from page 13

those same core tasks the foundation
for evaluating the performance of all
employees. As we developed both our
DORs and our performance evaluations
and as we trained our CTOs and
Supervisors, we stressed the importance
of recognizing our employees for all the
times we do things right, and not only
writing them up for poor performance,
which builds the foundation of positive
feedback throughout an employee's
tenure with the organization.
Immediately we saw an improvement
in the documentation by the CTO
regarding the actual performance of
a trainee. Trainees also had a better
understanding of their performance
with the simplified DORs, and the other
tenants shared in the NENA CTO Program
and their CTO Software as a Service
(SaaS) system Agency360.
Regarding our performance
evaluations, not only were they not
specific, but they were just done
annually. In the interim we would rely on
monthly quality assurance (QA) reports
documenting performance. Although
QA and evaluations are great tools, they
are often not timely. Telecommunicators
live and breathe immediate feedback.
Once an employee is out of our training
program, the daily feedback stopped.
As employee moves from one shift to
another, both peak performance and
underperformance may slip through
the cracks.
We began to look for a solution that
provided the ability to give timely
feedback to the employee to reinforce
good performance and behaviors as well
as identify and change poor performance
or behavior of not only the new hires but
to do the same for all employees. The
solution we found Guardian Tracking.
Guardian Tracking is a SaaS software
solution that provides a mechanism for
timely reflection of your employee's
performance. Guardian Tracking's core
objective is to provide recognition for
the fantastic work that our employees
do every day in our center and centers
around the world. Recognition can
come from management, and peers can



recognize each other for outstanding
efforts as well.
Positive recognition increases
productivity gives employees a greater
sense of connection to the overall
mission of the center and provides
greater employee satisfaction. Each
week, our managers are encouraged to
find at least one positive thing about
their team/dispatchers and document
it. They use a freeform narrative that
falls under the category "recognition."
It allows the manager to acknowledge
something positive that occurred right
away. All levels of employees within the
center can see the recognition so that
the entire department is a part of the
process and positive outcome. In the
first 90 days after implementing the
system, 92% of our employees had used
the system, and 369 positive entries
were created.
Performance is guided by not only
regular feedback about performance,
it is also important to ensure that we
as supervisors, managers and directors
to identify when things and intervene
before it becomes a problem. Guardian
Tracking provides supervisors with
the ability to set criteria for notices
when certain thresholds are met. For
example, the system is able to flag an
employee who is late multiple times in
a defined timeframe. This allows us to
have a discussion with the employee, to
identify issues, before we have to write
the person up for violating the policy. It
allows the entire management team to
be involved with the process and creates
a safe place for feedback from all levels.
When it comes to early intervention
and identifying a pattern of behavior
where change is necessary, by using
the same categories utilized in training,
it reinforces the foundation of our
training program and maintains for all
employees. Creating consistency in what
is expected from each employee.
When employees have performance
issues, it is typically because they have
deviated from policy, or training. By
using the same training categories,
management can write a description

of the problem that occurred, along
with the training for improved
performance that was given, and the
outcome of that training to the category
it falls under all the while being is
confidential and transparent.
In our development of the
program, only the employee and the
management team are made aware of
the intervention. The director must then
approve this type of intervention, so
the employee will not feel like they are
being singled out and administration
is not aware of it. Alleviating the issue
of employees feeling like they are
being picked on and supports your
management team.
Creating performance documentation
like this allows for more objective
evaluations of all employees. It gives a
more complete view of good and bad
throughout the entire year. Making an
easy transition between our training
program, and general policies and the
both methods to track performance
We have had great success as a result
of implanting these changes. Employees
are more engaged, and the positive
peer-to-peer recognition gives them
all a voice to praise the good things
that happen every day. Our employees
also report feeling supported in their
training and coaching. When there is an
issue, the feedback they receive feels
more objective when they know it is
also documented transparently. The
feedback is timelier and therefore their
ability to learn from the experience is
more relative.
We are responsible for creating a
solid foundation for our employees to
stand on. They need to feel confident in
their ability to know what is expected
of them and that expectation needs
to be consistent. These tools have
helped us further that goal and create
more consistency.  ●
Lara O'Brien is the former Deputy Director
at Eaton County Central Dispatch, a
combined police, fire, and EMS PSAP in
Charlotte, Michigan.


The Call - Issue 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Issue 29

President’s Message
A Unique Path to Statewide Text-to-9-1-1 Implementations
A New Approach to 9-1-1 Center Training & Evaluations
Is There Life After Dispatch?
Index to Advertisers
The Call - Issue 29 - Intro
The Call - Issue 29 - cover1
The Call - Issue 29 - cover2
The Call - Issue 29 - 3
The Call - Issue 29 - President’s Message
The Call - Issue 29 - 5
The Call - Issue 29 - A Unique Path to Statewide Text-to-9-1-1 Implementations
The Call - Issue 29 - 7
The Call - Issue 29 - 8
The Call - Issue 29 - 9
The Call - Issue 29 - 10
The Call - Issue 29 - 11
The Call - Issue 29 - Operations
The Call - Issue 29 - A New Approach to 9-1-1 Center Training & Evaluations
The Call - Issue 29 - Is There Life After Dispatch?
The Call - Issue 29 - 15
The Call - Issue 29 - 16
The Call - Issue 29 - 17
The Call - Issue 29 - 18
The Call - Issue 29 - Index to Advertisers
The Call - Issue 29 - cover4