Fresh workplace approach the key to change

This article has photo gallery Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Topic(s): Fleet Support Unit - South East

Lieutenant Commander Robert Thompson from Fleet Support Unit - South East (photo: Unknown)
Lieutenant Commander Robert Thompson from Fleet Support Unit - South East

A ‘listen and learn’ approach to the workplace has helped Fleet Support Unit – South East in Sydney become a more positive and productive workplace, according to a key player in the change process.

Regional Manager, Lieutenant Commander Robert Thompson, features in a Navy video the unit, now available on Navy’s YouTube channel RANMedia

The video showcases the growing cooperative relationship between Navy and private industry partners. 

Filmed onboard frigate, HMAS Newcastle, the video highlights the importance of improving the skills of personnel so they can return to sea with higher confidence and capability.

“Effectiveness has changed for the better,” Lieutenant Commander Thompson said. 

“That’s partly because greater amounts of collaboration on tasks is occurring with our industry partners.

“This has allowed us to deliver a reliable supply of material and technical expertise. 

“Collaborating with private industry has also shown our people more innovative ways to approach a task,” Lieutenant Commander Thompson said.

The other key factor has been a more productive and open workplace culture which has been built up in more recent times. 

“This has been very much at the heart of what we have achieved here,” Lieutenant Commander Thompson said. 

"We got to this point by challenging the way in which personnel are applied to tasks, what tasks they can achieve and what activities and projects junior sailors can lead and or contribute to."

Respecting the contribution of every individual is taken very seriously in Navy - and is one of the designated 'Navy Signature Behaviours'. 

“Navy’s Signature Behaviours have guided us all as we have improved both behavioural expectations and workplace habits,” Lieutenant Commander Thompson said. 

“We try at all times to listen to our people’s ideas and partner our more junior team members with more experienced personnel. The results have been very positive, we are aiming to make innovation a habit."

The video can be viewed at: