By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 9, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Installation Management Command exists to take care of Soldiers and families, and to support its garrisons and the communities within, and one new initiative is putting customers first when it comes to that support.
Fort Rucker garrison leadership pledged customer-focused support as Col. Brian E. Walsh, Fort Rucker garrison commander; Dr. Beverly K. Joiner, Fort Rucker deputy to the garrison commander; and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher D. Spivey, Fort Rucker garrison command sergeant major, signed the Service Culture Initiative leadership pledge during a workforce briefing Nov. 1 at the post theater.
The Service Culture Initiative was designed to enhance the level of customer service provided by organizations within the garrison, including the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation; the Directorate of Public Works; the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Emergency Services and Human Resources by focusing on service excellence through proper training and customer interaction, according to Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, U.S. Army IMCOM commanding general.
"There is no organization in the Army that touches every Soldier and every family, every day -- that's what IMCOM does," said Dahl in a video shown during the workforce brief. "We have a terrific opportunity to support the Army every day and to really influence in the integral part of the Army culture, so the Service Culture Initiative signing will help us really define who we are as an organization.
"One of the major points for the Service Culture Initiative is it will help us identify who we are and what we're all about -- it's going to be about customer service," he said. "This is going to be part of who IMCOM is and how we operate -- it's one team and we're all going to be in this together."
The initiative has several vital components, including on-boarding, training, leadership workforce engagement, communication and recognition. Dahl said these components are what will help motivate garrison teams to provide a customer service experience that is world class.
"If you want someone to be very strong in customer service and you want them to have a smile, if you want them to go that extra step and you want them to really take care of the people who are coming to them for service," said the IMCOM commander, adding that it starts with taking care of the employees first through on-boarding and training.
"As we hire our new employees and they come on, it makes a lot of sense for us to help them to become value-added earlier rather than later, so let's welcome them," he said. "Welcome them warmly and let's take care of them. Let's get them up and running earlier, so that they become productive professionals in our organization."
In order to continue to produce productive professionals, Dahl said it's important to recognize those who are doing an excellent job in their respective fields as a means of supporting those employees within the organization, which can lead to a more productive workforce and a better customer service experience.
"What you do is so vital in support of our Soldiers, our families and our senior commanders and the missions that they perform, so when you do it well, we are to recognize that," he said. "Everybody likes to be recognized when they've done good work, so let's make sure that everybody is recognized when they've done something well."
On the flip side of that coin, Dahl said it's important to also recognize those who have fallen short and to hold them accountable in order to foster improvement, which is a vital role of leadership.
That's why the leadership pledge is an important part of the initiative -- to exist as a symbolic reminder to ensure the commitment that will be provided to the customer, he said.
"At the end of the day, the Service Culture Initiative is about taking care of ourselves first -- putting us in that proper disposition, so that we are now motivated to deliver that world-class customer service," said the IMCOM commanding general. "With the help of your headquarters, with the help from the directorate and with the help from your garrison leadership, there is no doubt in my mind that we will be successful in delivering great customer service to the Soldiers and families that we pledge our support to."