Identifying the Core Values of the City of Markham Fire Department

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By H. Michael Drumm

The strategic plan has become the road map for an organization's day-to-day operation. Most organizations perform some sort of strategic or executive planning. The critical starting point in any planning process is an audit of the core values of the organization's stakeholders. A values audit is both the key to an organization's identity and the first practical step in the planning process. The problem this project examined was the lack of a workable strategic plan in the City of Markham Fire Department. The project would answer one question: What are the core values of the City of Markham Fire Department?

This project was the first step in the department's upcoming strategic planning process. It involved conducting a core values audit of the members of the City of Markham Fire Department. The results would be the formal starting point for the strategic plan. The project used the descriptive method to identify the City of Markham Fire Department's values through survey instruments. The literature review and shift interviews augmented the surveys.

Three different survey tools were used as part of the research procedures: (a) The Rokeach Values Survey, (b) The Mitchell Value Instrument, and (c) a values scan. Surveys were used because they were the appropriate instruments for assessing the firefighters' thoughts and feelings on values.

The core values of the City of Markham Fire Department were defined as honesty and compassion. They were supported by a strong belief in being helpful, humane, and vigorous. These values were based in the importance placed on family security and self respect while being able to live a life with opportunities for good times. These core values now need to be shared with all stakeholders in the department as the strategic planning process continues into the next stage.