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Team & EnvironmentVision & Strategy

Using insights to create safe and healthy teams

Royal New Zealand Air Force

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is a critical component of the New Zealand Defence Force. It provides military air capability that meets the requirements of the New Zealand Government.

Empathy were selected by the Air Force and ALAC to help understand attitudes of RNZAF personnel to alcohol and its use, and to use those insights to design strategies to keep personnel safe and healthy.

How might we gain insight into attitudes towards alcohol in the RNAF?

Empathy worked very closely with the Air Force, living with 10 selected personnel (from across the organisation) for three or four days at a time. This extensive ethnographic study was just one part of a mixed method approach designed to answer our research questions. Qualitative ethnographic fieldwork and a quantitative questionnaire were accompanied by numerous supporting research activities to round out the picture.

Our deep research techniques provided us with a credible platform to design effective strategic and tactical recommendations.

Our research changed the way the RNZAF thinks about alcohol and its use. Our deep and contextualised understanding of this topic enabled us to develop credible, evidence-based guiding principles for change, along with strategic and tactical recommendations to support RNZAF personnel to be safe and healthy.

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