New IMCOM workforce development pilot program focuses on world class customer service
November 6, 2013
SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 31, 2013) -- Twenty-nine new employees of U.S. Army Installation Management Command headquarters participated in the inauguration of a program designed to welcome new staff to IMCOM, orient them to the organization and streamline mandatory training with emphasis on the importance of providing world class customer service.
The IMCOM Newcomers Orientation class, part of the new IMCOM Onboarding program, is designed to ensure all new employees are properly sponsored, welcomed, oriented to the IMCOM mission and their jobs, and properly integrated into the IMCOM enterprise, according to Nick Gonzales, chief of the command's Workforce Development Branch.
"Specifically, the orientation class is geared towards bringing the new folks in within their first 30 days, showing them the IMCOM way and ensuring that they receive all mandatory training," Gonzales said. "Every new employee will get to hear from IMCOM leaders -- the commanding general or his representative -- learning first-hand what the highest priorities are, what's expected of them. That doesn't happen in a lot of places and I think that's something really unique about this program."
The initial class was diverse, comprised of active duty Soldiers and civilians from both appropriated- and non-appropriated-fund programs, some new to IMCOM and others long time veterans of civil service, which is precisely the reason why the training is so important said Gonzales - it synchronizes the team.
Currently, the monthly class is held for all new employees working at IMCOM's San Antonio campus, including Army Environmental Command and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, though IMCOM workforce developers say they hope installations will adopt parts of the program.
The monthly class is one part of the overall Onboarding program. The 12-month process consists of six phases: sponsorship, welcome, in-processing, orientation, integration and completion. "The Onboarding program will ensure that new employees are properly welcomed into the command….and treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. It will equip them with most of the training and procedures used in IMCOM necessary to accomplish their mission," said David Prewitt, chief of the IMCOM Talent Management and Developments Division.
"First and foremost, this is about ensuring that all new [headquarters] employees are welcomed, trained and integrated into the enterprise within the first 30 days," Gonzales explained, "then we want to push this product out to the garrisons and let them use it as best suits them. They can take the different parts of the IMCOM Onboarding program -- the sponsorship training, the slides, the checklists, the sponsorship letters -- and modify it to their garrison's needs."
The Onboarding program is a direct result of employee recommendations to IMCOM leadership earlier this year, according to Gonzalez. The recommendations identified areas needing emphasis or a more consistent approach such, as streamlined in-processing and formalized customer service training, he said.
A team led by the personnel directorate developed the pilot. The program includes a snapshot of IMCOM mission, vision and goals, a leadership welcome and IMCOM-specific training in customer service, safety, security, reporting and alcohol and substance abuse. Participant surveys from each welcome session will help fine-tune the training.
The orientation and training blocks are designed to ensure new employees are integrated and immediately effective, and that "each employee knows what's expected of him, how he's to treat customers, how to work cooperatively with others," said Gonzales. "For customers, this means we'll have an even better-trained workforce, able to handle any type of situation in a positive manner, and [providing] the world class support they should expect from us."
Through the Onboarding program, according to Gonzales, IMCOM is sending a strong message to employees and to customers from headquarters to garrisons.
"New employees are important to us and we want to take the time to sponsor them, welcome them and get them into the workforce so that they can provide that outstanding customer support. The quicker we can get them trained up, the quicker they can be effective employees."
IMCOM Newcomer Orientation will be held monthly from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the IMCOM Academy. For more information about the training or Onboarding program, please contact IMCOM G1, Workforce Development at (210) 466-0428.