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News > Commentary - Cultivating a culture of compliance at Keesler
Cultivating a culture of compliance at Keesler

Posted 7/25/2012   Updated 7/25/2012 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Master Sgt. Elijah Ramsey
81st Training Wing compliance office


7/25/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Supervisors must establish a culture that promotes compliance the moment a new Airman arrives on the job. The supervisor should address compliance in following procedures
during section meetings and while on the job. It is imperative that supervisors stress the importance of understanding the Air Force mission and meeting expectations to everyone in the workplace. This focus clarifies the direction or path we must all follow. As leaders, we should set the example and do the job right the first time to promote an environment of compliance.

There are so many changes that occur over time and when these compliance changes comes about we, as supervisors and leaders, must focus our attention to ensure these changes
are implemented throughout the workforce. As a compliance officer, I have heard the story many times, where compliance becomes complacent in the workplace i.e. a worker has
done a job incorrectly 1,000 times and the 1,001st time, the worker gets hurt and the words out of his or her mouth is "I can't believe this happened." This behavior is not accepted in
our workforce.

I say all this to focus on the importance of compliance. If an Air Force squadron has a fatality, the affected commander and his squadron will be investigated. There will be compliance
officers interviewing commanders, supervisors and even the lowest ranking worker. A deficient compliance program can also result in increased liabilities, harmful management
distractions and also affect our Air Force image. We must understand that our efforts to protect and serve also relate to being in compliance.

Supervisors must remain diligent in managing their troops and making compliance a priority in the workforce. To motivate and cultivate Airmen to follow good work ethics concerning compliance, one must be an advocate. As supervisors, managers and leaders we should never place compliance on the back burner or procrastinate implementing complaint behaviors. If we neglect to promote a culture of compliance we will not be prepared and may receive a failed or conditional compliance inspection rating.

However, if we prepare ourselves by being in a constant state of readiness, inspections could be viewed as opportunities to enhance our practices and better serve our customers,
our co-workers and our nation. So, let's take this opportunity to better prepare for the upcoming Unit Compliance Inspection. Let's start by setting a good example and be proactive
in accomplishing self inspection checklists. This shows our Airmen a clear picture of how important the inspection is to the Air Force mission.

As supervisors and leaders, provide clear and precise guidance to Airmen, leave an open line of communication and give the opportunity to ask for clarification. Instructions should
always include specific tasks, and why those tasks need to be accomplished. Supervisors should be available to answer questions and provide additional training if necessary.

By changing our behaviors and tactics, we can open our Airmen's eyes to a culture of compliance. We can inspire, motivate and teach good practices that will lead to sustained compliance long after the Inspector General's team has departed.



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