Project Inclusion Moves Forward at JMC
HQ, JMC’s Project Inclusion Team meets weekly via MS Teams to discuss ways of creating commitment at all levels of the organization to be more diverse, inclusive, and free from discrimination, harassment, and assault. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

As part of an ongoing commitment to enterprise-wide inclusion, Joint Munitions Command established a Project Inclusion Team in November 2020. The primary goal of the team is to work towards creating commitment at all levels of the organization to be more diverse, inclusive, and free from discrimination, harassment, and assault.

In service to this goal, the team has achieved several significant accomplishments. The first is the holding of HQ JMC-wide Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis brainstorming sessions. Through several SWOT Analysis sessions, the team identified more than 100 innovative solutions to some of the subtasks of the Project Inclusion Campaign Plan. These results were shared with the subordinate JMC installations during regular meetings to share accomplishments and lessons learned.

The team then took the identified opportunities from the SWOT Analysis sessions and prioritized them. Team members and volunteers from throughout the command combined to work on this prioritization effort. As a result, an action plan was developed, with each opportunity identified by priority. In aid to this effort, JMC is institutionalizing feedback loops, such as listening sessions and surveys, while working to effectively communicate the results of these surveys and share improvement actions resulting from them.

The final steps of the team will be to work on quick wins within the action plans over the next few months and transition those plans for completion and sustainment to champion directorates identified in the action plans. Areas targeted for key initiatives include: mentorship, onboarding, leader-employee engagement, leadership development programs, recruiting pool, hiring policy and feedback, workplace flexibilities, and employee recognition. Several accomplishments have already been achieved in these areas.

The mentorship program will be revamped to establish cyclical training for all employees, ensure that team leads are encouraged to take training on mentoring, and survey the workforce regarding the benefits of mentorship. Similarly, onboarding improvements begin with onboarding training for supervisors and sponsors; an effort to intertwine AMPED, mentoring, sponsoring, and transitioning; and an improved employee handbook portal with access to useful resources related to JMC, DoD, and the Quad Cities Area.

Training also plays a key role in proposed changes to leader-employee engagement and leadership development programs, in terms of how to be a leader, how to communicate with employees effectively, and how to provide more employees with the opportunity to cross-train and develop their leadership skills. Efforts to improve these areas are underway. JMC has implemented Functional Applicable Supervisory Training (FAST) to enhance supervisory skills. The command has also trained 13 facilitators to encourage and facilitate open and continuous communication between supervisors and employees.

JMC has initiated better training to raise awareness of the hiring process, with the intention of regularly training supervisors and the workforce on hiring, as well as provide opportunities for resume and interview skills training and effective feedback loops. In addition, JMC has enhanced and expanded recruiting and onboarding efforts by implementing the build the bench concept, maximizing the use of direct hiring authorities, and expanding reach by adding affinity groups to distribution lists, as well as notifying the workforce and community of opportunities via email and social media announcements. Collectively, these actions are part of a forward-looking plan to build outreach and sustain partnerships formed by such efforts.

Once hired, employee satisfaction is key to retention. In an effort to improve the area of workplace flexibilities, JMC provides knowledge transfer training opportunities to empower employees to pursue developmental and detail assignments. The IPT is also exploring ways to ease burdens on employees through the use of telework and other reasonable accommodations. Employee satisfaction can be encouraged through use of more effective employee recognition efforts. One accomplishment in this area has been adding employee of the quarter and employee of the year awards. Other proposals include simplifying and streamlining the awards application process, gauging the effectiveness of specific formal awards, and finding more opportunities for informal recognition.

As JMC’s Project Inclusion team moves forward, it will continue to identify opportunities for improvement and adapt accordingly, maintaining a firm commitment to a diverse, inclusive, and employee-friendly workplace.