DHSEM Workplace Assessment Report

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On January 12, 2023, the DHSEM Workplace Assessment Report was released to staff.  Below is a copy of the email sent to the staff from the CDPS Executive Director sharing the report. 

CDPS Executive Director Email to Division Staff

January 12, 2023

DHSEM staff,

In the nearly nine years that I’ve been the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety, one of the key messages I’ve emphasized is that we are a learning organization and that ours is a culture of continuous improvement.  We can only get better when we proactively and intentionally take the time to examine and reflect on how we’re doing. Many of you have participated in after-action reviews (AARs) after a critical incident so that we can collectively improve for the next incident. Through this process, we build on what went well, and we call out what could have gone better so that we can fix it. 

We commissioned a third-party workplace assessment for DHSEM in the same spirit of continuous improvement that we conduct AARs. After several months of examination and analysis informed by employee interviews and surveys, ILG has produced a final report that I am pleased to share with you today.

Here are some key findings:

  • The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is a dynamic and diverse team that is committed to developing, administering, and coordinating comprehensive and integrated statewide emergency management and homeland security programs. Your work ensures the safety and security of Colorado and its infrastructure through unity of effort with local, tribal, state, federal, private, and nongovernmental partners. Staff are actively engaged in this mission.
  • Employees report overall positive relationships and good communication with their direct managers. There is an opportunity to more actively engage DHSEM managers in shaping and furthering the strategic direction of the division. 
  • There is good collaboration among peers, and that is apparent during critical incidents when all hands are on deck and all parts are working to support the whole. 
  • Together, we have an opportunity to build an even stronger workplace culture rooted in mutual trust and respect.
  • We have an opportunity to ensure functionality and collaboration among the senior staff of DHSEM to present a unified and coherent vision that supports the daily work of all employees. 
  • We will focus on ensuring an inclusive and welcoming environment for all, consistent with the EDI program that CDPS launched nearly three years ago. 
  • We have an opportunity to strengthen the division structure and we intend to create a Deputy Director position to help the leadership team align around any additional reorganization needed and the path forward.   

I don’t need to tell the DHSEM team that the last 1,000+ days have been unprecedented - you’ve lived it. Since March 2020, the Division has risen to the immense challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, historic fire response and recovery and a successful financial audit of the Disaster Emergency Fund among other things.  Your care for the people of Colorado and service to our partners has been remarkable.   In an unprecedented effort, Division personnel were incredibly dedicated to the mission and to make things work under extreme demands and the uncertain course of the last few years. I am so proud of you and the work that you do.

This process has provided some clarity on how and where we can improve.  Strengthening workplace culture, harmony and satisfaction depends on unity of effort from all of us, and I’m confident that together we can further align these values with the excellent and critical work that you are known for.  

For transparency, we are posting the report and this email on the division and department websites.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

CDPS Executive Director Stan Hilkey