Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles about the U.S. Army Sustainment Command’s “All Things People” program, and how it aligns with U.S. Army efforts to support the warfighters. The first two looked at ATP as a whole and focused on the command’s recruitment strategy for its workforce, both Soldiers and Civilians. Now we look at the second primary focus of ATP, which is Develop and Manage the Force.
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. — U.S. Army Sustainment Command strives to bring in new talent and help its workforce develop skills essential to meet mission requirements to support the warfighter. Once individuals have been recruited and hired, there must be a work atmosphere that encourages new employees — and all workforce members — to be productive, creative and feel they are part of an important team.
ASC is a multi-faceted organization, directly tied to supporting America’s warfighters around the globe. Getting the right equipment, clothing, food, and anything that is needed, to the right place, at the right time, all the time.
This requires many specific skillsets and abilities, some of which are acquired only after a considerable amount of time in the organization. It is imperative that the command retains workers who have developed essential skills, or it will find itself constantly having to train new people to replace them.
Some of this expertise, dealing with logistics, management, and communication, is also desirable to other organizations within the federal government and in the private sector. ATP is meant to keep valuable and knowledgeable employees within the command, enabling ASC to continue to fulfill its mission.
“I think we’re always going to be in competition with private industry and other federal agencies,” said Lisa Schuldt, Chief G3 (Training), ASC. “However, by providing our workforce with opportunities to enhance their growth and development, along with the great benefits a federal career offers, and ASC’s increasing workplace flexibilities, I believe we’re narrowing the gap on the competition.
“Developing and empowering the workforce is centered on nurturing and supporting each member of the organization,” Schuldt added, “so they gain valuable knowledge needed for their job and feel valued and appreciated.”
For many employees, professional growth is an important aspect of their career goals. ASC provides several avenues for employees to satisfy their educational and career aspirations.
The Journey to Leadership program is a major path for employee growth and is administered through G3. JTL’s stated goal is to “train current and future leaders in a broad range of leadership concepts, to utilize/administer various leadership tools and techniques, and to enhance their leadership competencies and interpersonal skills.”
It is a chance for employees to have one-on-one interaction with senior leaders and offers professional networking opportunities, giving participants a much better understanding of ASC’s mission.
JTL is a three-tiered program, with each tier bringing participants to higher levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to become effective leaders. JTL is the way ASC develops its future Civilian leaders.
An individual’s education is also enhanced by regular offerings through Total Employee Development, or TED. Besides mandatory training, there are dozens of other classes highlighting topics designed to hone skills (Effective Writing Techniques), enhance personal wellbeing (Alcohol Awareness), and courses specific to a position (Create and Analyze Simulated Unplanned Production Demand), to name a few.
The point of these many opportunities is to help workforce members gain and maintain physical and mental wellbeing, along with professional growth, and are vital for ASC to continue its mission of supporting the warfighter. The stated goals of ATP include:
• Develop a results-oriented performance culture through effective workforce performance assessments, training curriculum and delivery methods. All individuals know and understand growth opportunities available to them and are empowered to utilize them.
• Enrich, promote, and manage initiatives to strengthen workforce competencies and link individual workload to organizational goals and current and future mission needs. Manage programs to enhance existing leadership skills and build the next generation of ASC leaders.
No command exists in a vacuum. ASC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, and its programs are meant to coordinate with AMC’s own efforts, and those of the U.S. Army.
“This fits in with the AMC Army People Strategy ‘This is My Squad’,” said Schuldt. “It is also directly aligned with ‘This is My Organization’ and the chief of staff of the Army’s 4th fourth objective to build positive command climates, developing leaders from both the top down and bottom up.”
ASC must actively compete with private companies and other governmental organizations for recruiting and retaining a professional workforce. The wellness and professional advancement tools encompassed within All Things People are strong incentives for skilled individuals to come to, grow within, and remain with, ASC.
“By taking care of our people, we invest in the command’s future,” said Schuldt. “Providing employee training and development opportunities not only increases morale and retention, but it also provides the tools and techniques that may lead to promotions building our bench of future leaders.”
In the next installment, the important issue of sustaining a high level of workforce readiness and resiliency will be addressed.