Redstone Arsenal, Ala. -- During an Army Materiel Command town hall, senior officials announced the roll-out of a new, standardized performance appraisal program set to begin next year for AMC personnel.

Lisha Adams, executive deputy to the commanding general, and Max Wyche, principal deputy for human resources, introduced the program to the workforce Oct. 13.

The Department of Defense program is called the New Beginnings initiative.

"The new system was created by management and union officials in 2010 after the repeal of the National Security Personnel System," Wyche said.

The Army began transitioning more than 200,000 civilians under the new appraisal program in April and will continue to do so through June 2018. AMC has the largest population of Army civilians, many with highly developed specialties in weapons development, manufacturing and logistics.

According to Wyche, Army Materiel Command employees at the GS-13 through GS-15 pay grade will join the system in July 2017, GS-12 and below will join in November 2017, and wage grade employees will join by July 2018.

"It will be a three tier rating system," said Wyche. "Right now across the Department of Defense, we have several different rating systems and different rating cycles."

The appraisal cycle starts April 1 and ends March 31 of the following year. Employees who have performed under an approved performance plan for a minimum of 90 calendar days during the rating period will receive a performance rating according to a three-level rating pattern: Level 5-Outstanding, Level 3-Fully Successful, and Level 1-Unaccepable.

"Employees will have a performance discussion at the beginning, midpoint and end of the rating cycle," said Wyche. "The intent of the system is that communication is occurring throughout the cycle."

Another key element to New Beginnings is the joint training for supervisors and employees, which will begin in January 2017.

"What is key in New Beginnings is that employee and supervisor engagement is continuous -- to understand expectations, to understand changes, to understand how you'll support the mission," Adams said.

Under Adams' leadership, AMC has also incorporated a form to facilitate the communication.

"This is a tool that will enable the discussion between the supervisor and the employee," she said. "It provides some things to think about as you have your performance discussions."
Adams also stressed linking performance objectives to strategic measures.

"We must have measurable goals linking the outcomes to the strategic measures of the Army and the Army Materiel Command," said Adams.

Visit Civilian Personnel On-Line for more information regarding DOD's New Beginnings initiative.