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Leadership, Communication, and Culture in the Department of Homeland Security

The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.
 —Woodrow Wilson

The art of communication is the language of leadership.
 —James Humes

The single greatest barrier to business success is the one erected by culture.
 —Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall

As discussed in Chapter 2, effective leadership, strong communication, and a common core culture—that includes to some extent a shared organizational identity and assumptions about mission, strategy, and goals—are the building blocks of a successful organization and are necessary if programs in the organization are to be implemented successfully. Without those elements, programmatic efforts in any organization— including workforce resilience programs—will not succeed (Beer et al., 1990; Kotter, 2007). Leadership, communication, and culture are intimately intertwined and, as described in this chapter, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has deficits in all three. The combination of effective organizational leadership and appropriate communication with the workforce leads to a core culture that allows diversity but at the same time fosters a common set of key assumptions, norms, and values around which component subcultures can align (O’Reilly, 1989; Schein, 2010; Sutcliffe, 2013). Leaders enable culture through their actions (what they



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3 Leadership, Communication, and Culture in the Department of Homeland Security The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. —Woodrow Wilson The art of communication is the language of leadership. —James Humes The single greatest barrier to business success is the one erected by culture. —Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall As discussed in Chapter 2, effective leadership, strong communica- tion, and a common core culture—that includes to some extent a shared organizational identity and assumptions about mission, strategy, and goals—are the building blocks of a successful organization and are nec- essary if programs in the organization are to be implemented successful- ly. Without those elements, programmatic efforts in any organization— including workforce resilience programs—will not succeed (Beer et al., 1990; Kotter, 2007). Leadership, communication, and culture are inti- mately intertwined and, as described in this chapter, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has deficits in all three. The combination of effective organizational leadership and appropriate communication with the workforce leads to a core culture that allows diversity but at the same time fosters a common set of key assumptions, norms, and values around which component subcultures can align (O’Reilly, 1989; Schein, 2010; Sutcliffe, 2013). Leaders enable culture through their actions (what they 89

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90 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS say and do); what they regularly attend to, measure, and control; how they react to critical events and organizational crises; how they allocate resources, rewards, and status; how they recruit, select, promote, and sanction employees; and the extent to which they deliberately act as role models, teachers, and coaches (Schein, 2010; Sutcliffe, 2013). Culture is also enabled by secondary mechanisms, such as an organization’s design and structure, systems and procedures, rites and rituals, physical space, buildings, myths and stories, and such formal statements of organization- al philosophy as mission statements, creeds, and charters (Schein, 2010; Sutcliffe, 2013). Culture supports workforce resilience by encouraging norms, values, and expectations that are consistent with and advance it and by establishing structures and practices that enable it. As Everly and Lating (2013, p. 150) explain, “resilient leaders can create the ‘tipping point’ that changes an entire culture.” The effects of leadership and cul- ture on workforce resilience will be discussed further later in this chap- ter. The chapter reviews the state of these important constructs in DHS and provides recommendations for guiding them forward. LEADERSHIP Leadership is not status or position. Leadership is all about achievement of the right results. Leaders are doers, who take responsibility and make a difference. —Peter Drucker The success of any organization and the execution of its programs depend on effective leadership. That is true of a successful resilience program. In this challenging time for the federal government—with their severe budget cuts, furloughs, pay freezes, and reduced resources— leadership is especially important, not only for absorbing and managing employees’ uncertainty about the future but for engaging employees, deepening their organizational commitment, and increasing general job satisfaction. In recent years, leadership, as evaluated by the workforce, has been an issue of concern throughout the federal government, especially in DHS (OPM, 2012a; Partnership for Public Service, 2013). In its evalua- tion of the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results, the

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 91 Partnership for Public Service1 (Partnership for Public Service, 2013) noted that although for many years federal employees generally have not given their leaders high marks, scores on leadership dropped markedly for the first time since 2003. Six of the 19 large federal agencies (the grouping that includes DHS) showed improvement in their overall lead- ership score in 2012, but effective leadership in the federal government ranked 9th out of the 10 workplace categories measured (Partnership for Public Service, 2013). Top-rated agencies include the National Aero- nautics and Space Administration, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of State; DHS ranked at the bottom. DHS employees have consistently expressed low confidence in organizational leadership and expressed concerns about communication and trust (see the following sections for relevant FEVS results for DHS). Why Leadership Is Important “Leadership is often regarded as the single most critical factor in the success or failure of institutions” (Bass and Bass, 2009, p. 11). Repeated- ly, leadership has been shown to influence employee morale, productivi- ty, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, stress, and resilience (Allen, 2012; Britt et al., 2004; Cunniff, 2013; Dirks and Ferrin, 2002; Everly, 2012). When leadership is effective, it can create “a climate of trust, growth and development, which can enhance performance” (Bates et al., 2010, p. 33). A successful organization depends on effective leaders— a point not lost on DHS, as noted in the current Department of Homeland Security Workforce Strategy (DHS, 2011).2 Collins and Hansen (2011) point to three essential qualities of great leaders: they are disciplined, demonstrating consistency in their actions; they depend on empirical ev- idence as opposed to relying on conventional wisdom or the advice of pundits or experts; and they remain hypervigilant at all times, planning and preparing for “what if” scenarios. 1 The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. Since 2003, it has produced Best Places to Work in the Federal Government annually, drawing on its analysis of FEVS results. 2 Goal 1 of the strategy is “building an effective, mission-focused, diverse and inspiring cadre of leaders.” It includes three objectives: “Implement succession planning to ensure continuity of leadership; institute a Department-wide leader development program to enhance leadership skills for DHS employees at all levels; and achieve a diverse leader- ship cadre.”

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92 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS Alternatively, poor leadership (which the literature divides into abu- sive and passive leadership styles3), including lack of supervisor social support, can have adverse effects on employees (Kelloway et al., 2005). Kelloway et al. (2005) concluded that although poor leadership itself is likely to increase stress, poor leaders are also likely to contribute to other stressors in the workplace, including workload and pace, role conflict and ambiguity, career concerns, work scheduling, interpersonal relations, job content, and control. Leaders’ influence on all those variables “has often resulted in detrimental effects on employee well-being” (Kelloway et al., 2005). Ineffective leadership can also lead to decreased organiza- tional commitment and high turnover rates in an organization. Talented people leave organizations when their supervisors and leaders are not perceived as sharing their values, do not demonstrate concern for em- ployees, and do not “create a sense of purpose, hope, direction, and trust” (Gantner, 2012). As the Partnership for Public Service (2013) noted, fed- eral employees who responded that they were planning to leave their cur- rent jobs in the next year rated their agency 35 percentage points lower in the effective-leadership category than those planning to stay in their jobs. In 2010, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) projected that 48 percent of federal employees will be eligible to retire in fiscal year (FY) 2015 (Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton, 2010). With the looming possibility of high turnover due to retirements in the coming years, developing the next generation of effective leadership from within will play a critical role in ensuring workforce retention. Leadership is critical for successful and sustainable program imple- mentation. For a new program or initiative to take root, leadership must be supportive, vocal, and involved; “leaders are agents of change” (Bass and Bass, 2009, p. 13; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2011; Cunniff, 2013; Spaeth, 2013; Sparling, 2010). The NIOSH Essential El- ements guidance has two elements related to leadership: “Demonstrate leadership” and “Engage mid-level management” (NIOSH, 2008). Those elements stress the importance of having leaders at all levels actively involved and vocal in promoting health, safety, and wellness programs throughout an organization (see Box 3-1), and they helped to guide the committee’s deliberations in this subject. 3 “Abusive leaders are those who act in an overly punitive or aggressive manner. Pas- sive leaders are those individuals who do not demonstrate the necessary abilities for a leadership role and often fail to live up to their responsibilities” (Kelloway et al., 2005).

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 93 BOX 3-1 NIOSH Total Worker Health Framework—Leadership Demonstrate Leadership Commitment to worker health and safety, reflected in words and actions, is critical. The connection of workforce health and safety to the core products, services, and values of the company should be acknowledged by leaders and communicated widely. In some notable examples, corporate Boards of Directors have recognized the value of workforce health and wellbeing by incorporating it into an organization’s business plan and making it a key op- erating principle for which organization leaders are held accountable. Engage Mid-Level Management Supervisors and managers at all levels should be involved in promoting health-supportive programs. They are the direct links between the workers and upper management and will determine if the program succeeds or fails. SOURCE: NIOSH, 2008. Leadership and Resilience Leadership is critical for building individual and organizational resil- ience. As noted in Chapter 2, consistent and vocal support by high- ranking leaders and others throughout the leadership ranks is an im- portant building block for both initiating change (in this case, establish- ing an organizational and workforce resilience effort) and embedding and sustaining it. Moreover, research has shown that leaders, especially frontline leaders, are important in building resilience in the workforce (Everly, 2012; Everly and Lating, 2013; IOM, 2012). It is frontline lead- ers with whom employees have the most interaction, so these leaders have the most influence on their employees. Col. Paul Bliese noted at the 2011 IOM Workforce Resilience workshop that research in the US Army has demonstrated that the “strongest factor related to unit resilience is officer leadership. . . . Good leaders make a very big difference under high-stress conditions” (IOM, 2012, p. 78). As Everly (2012) explains, a culture of leadership is necessary to create a culture of resilience, and developing resilient leaders is crucial in creating this culture. The US armed forces have recognized the importance of leadership for force readiness and resilience in the creation of their fitness pro- grams. To address stressors that may affect readiness, the Department of Defense created the Total Force Fitness framework to support and aug- ment efforts in the services. That framework emphasizes the importance

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94 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS of leadership both in establishing and supporting the framework and as a key component for individual growth (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2011). The Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) effort provides soldiers with “instruction on specific mental and physical skills to enhance performance when facing challenges, whether those challenges are in their personal or professional lives” (Cornum et al., 2011, p. 7). Special focus is placed on teaching small-unit leaders to instill those qualities in those whom they lead (Cornum et al., 2011). Leadership in the Department of Homeland Security Employee responses to the 2012 FEVS demonstrate overarching leadership issues in DHS. With 52 percent positive responses to ques- tions on the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) Leadership and Knowledge Management Index,4 DHS scored 8 percent below the government average and ranked 36th of 37 in the HCAAF rankings (OPM, 2012a). Only 32.9 percent responded positively that leaders in DHS “generate high levels of motivation and commitment to the workforce” in contrast with 43.2 percent who disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement (OPM, 2012b, p. 4). Whereas 63.8 percent reported that their immediate supervisor or team leader was doing a good job overall, the same question regarding the manager directly above the immediate supervisor garnered 49.1 percent positive responses (OPM, 2012b). Regarding senior leaders, 46.2 percent reported a high level of respect for those in DHS (OPM, 2012b, p. 6). Table 3-1 shows additional FEVS results related to leadership. DHS employees voiced concerns to the committee on issues related to leadership during the committee’s site visits and meetings. Regarding frontline leadership, the committee heard that the quality of leaders varies widely. It was generally reported in various sites that many supervisors are managers as opposed to leaders; employees often stated that supervisors 4 HCAAF identifies the standard for Leadership and Knowledge Management as fol- lows: “Agency leaders and managers effectively manage people, ensure continuity of leadership, sustain a learning environment that drives continuous improvement in per- formance, and provide a means to share critical knowledge across the organization” (OPM, 2005, p. 3). As a measurement of whether the standard is met, the Leadership and Knowledge Management Index of the FEVS “indicates the extent to which employees hold their leadership in high regard, both overall and on specific facets” (OPM, 2012a, p. 10).

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 95 TABLE 3-1 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results Related to Leadership DHS Government-Wide Positive, Positive, Average, Question % % 42. My supervisor supports my need to bal- 69.0 76.7 ance work and other life issues. 43. My supervisor/team leader provides me 59.5 65.2 with opportunities to demonstrate my leadership skills. 44. Discussions with my supervisor/team 57.6 62.2 leader about my performance are worthwhile. 45. My supervisor/team leader is committed 58.5 64.5 to a workforce representative of all seg- ments of society. 46. My supervisor/team leader provides me 57.4 60.8 with constructive suggestions to improve my job performance. 47. Supervisors/team leaders in my work 57.2 65.1 unit support employee development. 48. My supervisor/team leader listens to 69.9 74.3 what I have to say. 49. My supervisor/team leader treats me 76.2 79.4 with respect. 50. In the last six months, my supervisor/ 76.8 76.8 team leader has talked with me about my performance. 51. I have trust and confidence in my 61.8 65.8 supervisor. 52. Overall, how good a job do you feel is 63.8 68.4 being done by your immediate supervi- sor/team leader? 53. In my organization, leaders generate 32.9 42.9 high levels of motivation and commit- ment in the workforce. 54. My organization’s leaders maintain high 46.9 55.1 standards of honesty and integrity. 55. Managers/supervisors/team leaders work 55.8 63.4 well with employees of different back- grounds.

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96 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS DHS Government-Wide Positive, Positive, Average, Question % % 56. Managers communicate the goals and 53.2 62.4 priorities of the organization. 57. Managers review and evaluate the or- 50.1 62.0 ganization’s progress toward meeting its goals and objectives. 58. Managers promote communication 42.4 53.3 among different work units (for exam- ple, about projects, goals, needed re- sources). 59. Managers support collaboration across 46.1 56.9 work units to accomplish work objectives. 60. Overall, how good a job do you feel is 49.1 57.9 being done by the manager directly above your immediate supervisor/team leader? 61. I have a high level of respect for my or- 46.2 54.1 ganization’s senior leaders. 62. Senior leaders demonstrate support for 43.0 54.0 Work/Life programs. 63. How satisfied are you with your in- 42.4 51.6 volvement in decisions that affect your work? 64. How satisfied are you with the infor- 39.8 48.4 mation you receive from management on what’s going on in your organization? 65. How satisfied are you with the recogni- 40.1 48.0 tion you receive for doing a good job? 66. How satisfied are you with the policies 34.7 43.4 and practices of your senior leaders? SOURCE: OPM, 2012b. do not respect or value them, do not know or care about their strengths, and lack the expertise and skills to be in their supervisory role. Many employees also reported a disconnect between department and component headquarters leadership at headquarters in Washington, DC, and the workforce on the ground, expressing little faith in upper-level leaders who lack knowledge of what is happening in the field. Many em-

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 97 ployees who spoke with the committee felt a lack of support by leader- ship at any level in the department. Common complaints included the feeling that leaders at multiple levels often use workers as scapegoats, do not value them, and view them as easily replaceable. Throughout the course of the committee’s work, it was increasingly evident that leader- ship in DHS is at best inconsistent. DHS has been scrutinized by Congress and others regarding its abil- ity to hire and retain senior executives and the number of vacancies in senior leadership positions (Chellino et al., 2008; US House of Representatives, 2007). The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has previously noted that “high-performing organizations understand that they need senior leaders who are accountable for results, drive continu- ous improvement, and stimulate and support efforts to integrate human capital approaches with organizational goals and related transformation issues” (Mihm, 2007, p. 1) and that “extensive loss of experienced work- ers can lead to critical gaps in an agency’s leadership, skills, and institu- tional knowledge” (Lord, 2010, p. 2). In February 2012, GAO released a report on senior leadership vacancy rates in DHS (GAO, 2012).5 The leadership vacancy rates reached a peak of 25 percent in FY 2006 but declined to 10 percent by the end of FY 2011 (GAO, 2012). However, “DHS vacancy rates in 2006, 2007, and 2010 were statistically higher than the average rates of other agencies subject to the CFO [Chief Finan- cial Officer] Act” (GAO, 2012). Vacancy rates varied by DHS compo- nent, with up to 56.7 percent (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) in 2006, but rates were generally lower by the end of 2010, with an aver- age of 17 percent (range, 8.4–20.7 percent) (GAO, 2012). The 2012 GAO report also looked at the senior leadership attrition rate, which was 11.4 percent at the end of FY 2010. In 2006, 2007, and 2009, DHS attri- tion rates were statistically higher than the average of other CFO agen- cies. The most frequent reasons for separation in 2006–2010 were 5 The GAO analysis focused on Senior Executive Service (SES)—including Transpor- tation Security Executive Service (TSES)—positions because DHS components had few senior level (SL) and scientific/professional (ST) positions during the review period. However, its attrition analysis included positions in SES (including TSES), ST, and SL categories. “Most DHS components were not allocated SL or ST positions during the 2006 through 2011 review period. Specifically, only CBP received ST allocations during this time frame. Less than half the components received SL allocations—never exceeding a total of three positions. As of the end of fiscal year 2011, DHS had a total of 65 SL and ST allocations, 60 of which were spread among DHS headquarters offices. The Office of the Undersecretary for Science and Technology is the only office to have received more than eight SL and ST allocations” (GAO, 2012).

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98 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS retirement and resignation (GAO, 2012). DHS is implementing two pro- grams to enhance senior leadership hiring and recruitment, including a simplified, resume-only hiring process that was piloted in FY 2010. DHS deemed the pilot successful and plans to use this process as its primary method for all hiring of Senior Executive Service (SES) employees (GAO, 2012). Several factors affect the department’s vacancy rates, and DHS re- ported that OPM’s authorization of additional senior-level allocations, department and component reorganizations, and political transitions in- creased vacancy rates (GAO, 2012). However, consistent leadership is crucial. During the writing of this report, 15 of the 43 senior leadership positions in DHS were filled by “acting” leaders, and one slot was vacant (DHS, 2013c). As noted earlier, during the course of the committee’s work, the DHS deputy secretary and the chief medical officer in the Of- fice of Health Affairs (OHA) resigned (both were political appointees), followed a couple of months later by the DHS secretary and the acting chief medical officer. Disconnect Between Department of Homeland Security Leaders and Frontline Workers In discussing leadership at DHS, it is vital to focus on leaders at all levels in the department, including executive and organizational leaders (secretary, deputy secretary, under secretaries, and component leaders), career staff, nonpolitical staff (SES and GS-15), and supervisors (mid- level and frontline). For DHS to be successful in increasing workforce resilience, vocal and active commitment is needed from leaders at all those levels, starting at the top and feeding down to the ones that front- line workers interact with daily. However, the committee observed a dis- connect between employees on the frontlines and their leaders. “Commitment to worker health and safety, reflected in words and actions, is critical” (NIOSH, 2008, p. 1), and it begins at the uppermost levels of an organization. Former Deputy Secretary Lute spoke passion- ately to the committee about her vision of a healthy, resilient, and en- gaged DHS workforce (Lute, 2013). However, conversations with DHS staff have led the committee to believe that vision is not being transmit- ted to the frontlines. Members of the workforce who spoke with the committee generally complained of directives coming from above with- out their input or consideration of how they affect work on the ground.

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 99 They also spoke of visits from the secretary or high-level component leaders to their region in which they were given a “dog and pony show” by regional leaders instead of talking with frontline staff or supervisors about the issues that they face and about how they can be better support- ed in their missions. To increase employee morale and resilience, the committee believes that it is vital for top leaders in DHS and the compo- nent agencies to take an active interest in their employees. They must not only speak about the importance of a healthy, resilient, and engaged DHS workforce but demonstrate a belief in the vision for the workforce by speaking with those on the front lines and demonstrating concern for employees and their input. It is the nature of federal government that new leaders, often from outside the organization, are appointed to the topmost ranks of executive departments with each new presidential administration. Thus, equal focus must be placed on the career, nonpolitical leaders (SES and GS-15 staff). They are the ones on whom political appointees must rely for organiza- tional memory and thus for continuation of the mission; they hold the organization together, providing leadership stability despite changes of administration. There must be a sustainable system in place in which these leaders can be functional regardless of who is appointed above them. Finally, midlevel and frontline leaders are vital for success and must be a focal point. They are the people that the workforce interacts with daily and that therefore have the most influence. They are also the people who are likely to rise to higher levels of leadership. Developing resilient leaders will increase the resilience of the workforce that they lead (Everly, 2012; Everly and Lating, 2013). Instilling in them the vision of a healthy, resilient, and engaged workforce early in their careers will help to spread the vision as they progress upward in the department. Leadership Development in the Department of Homeland Security Leadership development is a key element in sustained organizational success. However, as Thad Allen (2012) testified before Congress, “the federal government has struggled for decades to create a strategic and comprehensive leadership development framework.” Many federal de- partments have worked to develop their own training programs, but such programs are often among the first budget casualties, with agencies “fo-

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118 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS was not properly acknowledged. In the corporate world, failure to ac- count for existing organizational cultures has led to many unsuccessful mergers (Bundy and Hukins, 2009; Deloitte, 2009; Hewitt, 2011; Mercer, 2013). Moreover, it is a gross oversimplification to talk about the monolith of an organizational culture. An organization may have subcultures that are in alignment or at odds with the dominant culture. In fact, there is wide variation in the extent to which organizational cultures are integrated (Sutcliffe, 2013). Cultures can be defined by assumptions that are harmonious and shared, but an organization’s cultural landscape may be characterized by a set of subcultures whose assumptions are in bitter conflict or by a fragmented set of subcultures whose assumptions are contradictory. In the case of DHS, the legacy components that were brought together with the creation of the department tend to identify with the cultures that they had before the integration. To complicate the cul- tural issues, there are generational gaps among the staff and differences in employee backgrounds, including civilian and military, political ap- pointees who have little DHS experience, and career employees. Such inherent differences between these microcultures need to be taken into account (see Box 3-2). BOX 3-2 Cultural Issues in Organizations “Conflicts, differences, and contradictions in organizations often can be attributed to differing assumptions that derive not only from the macrocultures in which organizations operate (e.g., ethnic groups), but al- so from assumptions of functional microcultures. Schein proposes that three generic subcultures exist within all organizations. These include the operators, engineers, and executives. The operator subculture, also known as the line or technical core, is critical to actually running or pro- ducing things. The engineering/design subculture represents the group that designs products, processes, and structures to make the organization more effective. The executive subculture represents top managers who are concerned with the administrative and financial functions of the organ- ization. These subcultures naturally share many assumptions of the total organization, but they also hold particular assumptions that reflect their occupations, unique experiences, and functions. These differences can be problematic if not resolved, as all three subcultures are necessary for or- ganizational effectiveness. But, if harnessed, these differences can be an important and valuable organizational resource as they can provide a di- versity of perspectives and interpretations of emerging problems.” SOURCE: Sutcliffe, 2013.

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 119 Organizational Culture in the Department of Homeland Security Attempts to create a core DHS culture that components identify with has been generally unsuccessful (Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton, 2011). Figure 3-3 provides a visual sense of how 22 agencies were merged and rearranged to create DHS. Throughout its information-gathering process, the committee consistently found that employees in the component agencies do not identify with DHS. For ex- ample, when discussing their agency, employees commonly referred to their own components as “we” and to DHS as “they.” Deficiencies in leadership and communication and a failure to ac- count for existing organizational cultures during the creation of DHS have led many in the workforce to feel disengaged and untrusting and to have low morale. OPM (2012a) defines an engaged employee as “one who is immersed in the content of the job and energized to spend extra effort in job performance.” On the Employee Engagement Index of the 2012 FEVS, DHS had a 58 percent positive response rate, 7 percentage points below the government-wide average in this area. Only 43 percent responded that they “feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things” (compared with 58 percent governmentwide), 48 percent reported that their “talents are used well in the workplace” (com- pared with 59 percent governmentwide), and 35 percent reported that “employees have a feeling of personal empowerment with respect to work processes (compared with 45 percent governmentwide) (OPM, 2012a, pp. 13–15). Trust is the key to any relationship and is certainly important for DHS in trying to focus employees and managers on health and well- being. However, distrust appears to be a prevalent feature of the depart- ment’s current culture. Only 24 percent responded positively to the FEVS item that “promotions in my work unit are based on merit,” 38 percent that “arbitrary action, personal favoritism and coercion for parti- san political purposes are not tolerated,” and 54 percent that they “can disclose a suspected violation of any law, rule or regulation without fear of reprisal” (OPM, 2012b). Similar notions were presented by DHS em- ployees that the committee spoke with in the component agencies. Dur- ing its site visits, the committee often encountered employees who reported a feeling of victimization by the “political machine.” Staff in multiple locations reported a lack of opportunity for career advancement,

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120 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS ORIGINAL AGENCY/DEPARTMENT CURRENT OFFICE WITHIN DHS AGRICULTURE Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY Plum Island Disease Center FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT National BW Defense Analysis Center TRAINING CENTER DEFENSE National Communications System NATIONAL PROTECTION AND PROGRAMS DIRECTORATE CBRN Countermeasures Program OFFICE OF CYBERSECURITY Energy Security And Assurance Program AND COMMUNICATIONS ENERGY Environmental Measurements Laboratory OFFICE OF INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION Nuclear Incident Response Team Nationasl Domestic Preparadness Office OFFICE OF OPERATIONS COORDINATION FBI National Infrastructure Protection Center SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FEMA The Federal Emergency Management Agency DIRECTORATE Federal Computer Incident Response Center TRANSPORTATION SECURITY GSA ADMINISTRATION The Federal Protective Service Domestic Emergency Support Teams US-CERT JUSTICE The Immigration And Naturalization Service U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES Office for Domestic Preparedness TSA The Transportation Security Administration U.S. COAST GUARD Federal Law Enforcement Training Center TREASURY U.S. C USTOMS AND B ORDER The U.S. Customs Service PROTECTION USCG U.S. Coast Guard U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT USSS U.S. Secret Service Strategic Stockpile And The HHS National Disaster Medical System U.S. SECRET SERVICE Returned to HHS in 2004 FIGURE 3-3 Who became part of the Department of Homeland Security? NOTE: US-CERT = US Computer Emergency Readiness Team. SOURCE: Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton, 2011.

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 121 some citing rampant favoritism in the process. Some employees reported fear of approaching their supervisors to discuss problems, or even inno- vative ideas, because they worried that it would be used against them when promotion opportunities came along. Many employees also reported that they do not use such programs as EAPs or peer support when they would like to for fear of adverse consequences related to their jobs. As reported at the 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshops on DHS workforce resilience, many still believe that help-seeking behaviors will have job-related consequences, including loss of security clearance (IOM, 2012). In addition, the current political climate and budget sequester (resulting in furloughs and loss of overtime) have further fractured the relationship between some component agencies and leadership in part because of a lack of communication; employees feel that they do not have the support of the department behind them. Moving Toward a Culture of Readiness and Resilience DHS struggles with its own identity and needs to identify a small set of key values and goals common to its components that it can use as the basis of a core DHS culture. As discussed in Chapter 2, there is a need to strengthen DHS’s “organizational identity.” In doing so, however, DHS needs recognize the variety of existing subcultures in its component agencies. As pointed out by the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) (2007, p. 6), “no single Homeland Security culture is possible or—for that matter—wise.” However, HSAC posited that an “overarch- ing and blended culture can be developed that is based on threads of common values, goals, and focus on mission among DHS Headquarters and its component organizations” (Homeland Security Advisory Council, 2007, p. 6). DHS needs to foster a core culture and ethos (how one thinks, feels, and acts) that account for both commonalities between and the uniqueness of its components. To succeed in achieving its mission, DHS will need to work toward creating a feeling of “we are all in this together;” and its component agencies must coalesce under a singular overarching mission. DHS recognizes the need to improve its workforce culture, but it also needs to recognize and celebrate the different cultures of the component agencies; the latter has generally not occurred. DHS needs to foster a culture of readiness and resilience that is based on its core purpose and values and innovation that will allow it to adapt to the ever-changing security environment in which it operates.

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122 A READY AND RESILIENT WORKFORCE FOR DHS Creating and sustaining an organizational ability to adapt is critical for achieving a successful, ready, and resilient DHS. Heifetz et al. (2009) identified five characteristics of adaptive organizations: 1. Hard questions and difficult issues, the “elephants,” are dis- cussed openly. 2. There is a sense of shared responsibility for the organization. 3. Independent judgment is valued and sought from all levels. 4. There is a commitment to development of leadership at all levels. 5. Reflection and continuous learning are institutionalized. As Collins (2004, pp. 8–9) explains, “a visionary company almost reli- giously preserves its core ideology . . . [while] display[ing] a powerful drive for progress that enables them to change and adapt without com- promising their cherished core ideals.” As discussed earlier, it appears that trust and engagement are lacking in the current DHS culture. A key aspect of building these dimensions of culture is ensuring that employees know that the department is looking out for them. Effective leadership and a strong communication strategy, as recommended by the committee in this chapter, will help to create a core culture. The committee believes that there needs to be clear and consistent communication of the desired DHS culture (for example, a small set of key beliefs, values, and norms), beginning with top leader- ship and permeating the entire organization. It is imperative that leader- ship at all levels live the culture, communicating its importance not only through words but, more important, through actions. Without a core cul- ture that all employees know and understand, programs will not be sus- tainable. A recurring theme in the 2011 IOM workshops on DHS resilience, the information-gathering meetings held by the committee, and the committee’s site visits was a perception that DHS does not support em- ployee use of health and wellness support services (such as EAPs, peer support programs, and chaplaincy). It is essential that seeking help related to readiness and resilience—whether mental, emotional, or physical—be not only seen throughout all DHS components as acceptable but encour- aged by leadership at all levels, communicated relentlessly to the work- force, and strongly embedded in the DHS culture. The committee’s vision of a transformed culture in DHS includes a culture of readiness and resilience that is in alignment with the DHS mission: a culture that promotes commitment, trust, and engagement through a strategy of sus-

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LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND CULTURE 123 tained cultural change. The committee has referred to culture throughout this report in terms of leadership, trust, engagement, and so on, these are all features of a core culture that will help to build and sustain a ready and resilient workforce. A collective common core culture coupled with acceptance of diverse subcultures can lead to a sense of belonging for the DHS work- force as opposed to resistance to belonging. DHS must invest in creating a culture that includes building and sustaining trust and respect among leadership, the workforce, and the department and a commitment to lead- ership development and a strategy that promotes effective and open communication. CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS Improvement in leadership, communication, and culture in DHS is an investment in the organization and the workforce that will fulfill the department’s mission. It is important to remember that leaders create the culture and that culture drives organizational results (Gantner, 2012). Without those building blocks, DHS will not be able to grow to its full potential and employee morale and engagement will not improve. In the next chapter, the committee discusses the need for assessment, evalua- tion, and reporting that are integral to the development and monitoring of any workplace program, including measuring and evaluating leadership development and organizational communication. REFERENCES Allen, T. 2012. Testimony before the US House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management. 112th Congress, 2nd session, March 22. Bass, B. M., and R. Bass. 2009. The Bass handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications. New York: Free Press. Bates, M. J., S. Bowles, J. Hammermeister, C. Stokes, E. Pinder, M. Moore, M. Fritts, M. Vythilingam, T. Yosick, J. Rhodes, C. Myatt, R. Westphal, D. Fautua, P. Hammer, and G. Burbelo. 2010. Psychological fitness. Military Medicine 175:21–38. Beer, M., R. A. Eisenstat, and B. Spector. 1990. Why change programs don’t produce change. Harvard Business Review 68(6):9.

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