By Ms. Brittany Carlson (IMCOM)November 9, 2009
STUTTGART, Germany - There's a lot to celebrate lately in the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Department for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
The department recently won the FMWR Command Exemplary Employee Development Award for 2009, the cherry on top of a sundae of honors, including top Installation Management Command-Europe Recreation Awards for best overall program, Arts and Crafts, Entertainment, and Sports and Fitness for large garrisons.
In addition, the Arts and Crafts program earned the title of best in the Army for large garrisons.
The Exemplary Employee Development Award recognizes garrisons that promote training and professional development among employees and management. This is the award that makes all of the others possible, according to FMWR leadership.
"It enables us to offer better programming and better customer service, which, in the end, really enhances what FMWR does for the community," said Christine Charles, nonappropriated funds human resources officer
USAG Stuttgart's FMWR department has won the award for three years in a row - every year since the award's inception.
"No other garrison has done that," said Greg Holzinger, USAG Stuttgart FMWR director.
Through the encouragement of leadership and multiple training opportunities, each garrison FMWR employee (currently upwards of 375) receives training of some kind.
All employees are required to register at the FMWRC online training site, where they can take more than 100 classes.
Half of all garrison FMWR employees have taken the online orientation course, and 90 percent of managers have completed a basic management course online, Holzinger said
"I want to see employees at the garrison continue to further their knowledge and experience," Holzinger said. "I want to set them up for success. I had that opportunity in my career, or I wouldn't be sitting where I'm at."
Managers also attend a quarterly brown bag luncheon, hosted by the NAF Civilian Personnel Office.
"This is a total team award," he said. "Everybody did their part. Employees continue to work at individual training - that doesn't happen everywhere."
In addition to offering training, the FMWR department encourages high employee performance through incentives, such as a certificate, coin or a monetary award. Last fiscal year, 415 incentive awards were given out, compared to 328 in FY08.
"It's pretty amazing that we're able to reward our employees and have a program that makes them feel good, and makes them feel like they have opportunities for growth within this organization," Holzinger said.
USAG Stuttgart was also the only garrison outside the continental U.S. to win the award. Other winners include West Point, Fort Knox, Fort McCoy and Fort Detrick.
The winnings include $2,500 for training materials and tuition assistance funding, as well as a two-day training session conducted by FMWR headquarters staff for all FMWR employees.
"They deserve it," Holzinger said. "They won it. I'm proud of them."