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February 10, 2012


Work force development designing programs for civilians

A series of human resource programs designed for Fort McCoy garrison civilian employees is being developed by the Directorate of Human Resources under the auspices of Kathy Peterson, work force development specialist.

This initiative, begun approximately one year ago, was a response by the garrison senior leadership to a recognized shortfall identified through Army Communities of Excellence feedback reports and in application of various organization improvement tools such as the Army Performance Improvement Criteria, Baldrige criteria, and the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Leader Handbook.

These planned Human Resource Programs are designed to supplement core personnel support services provided by the Fort McCoy Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC). The intent of having a centrally managed approach is to ensure a standardized approach is used by all garrison organizations when addressing human resource needs. Many of the new programs envisioned will go beyond the traditional processes used to recruit and place employees, and each program implemented will be developed in close partnership with the Fort McCoy CPAC.

Examples of currently planned Human Resource Programs include an automated New Employee Orientation, an employee Sponsorship Program for individuals who accept employment here, a centrally managed Training and Development Program, a garrison Mentor and Mentee Program, improved employee in- and out-processing, an employee Emergency Accountability Program, and a death notification and Family assistance program.

Peterson serves as a staff resource who will work directly with garrison senior executives, managers, supervisors, administrative officers, and employees in fulfilling day-to-day human resource requirements, such as assisting in the preparation of employee Individual Development Plans, suggesting training sources where employees can obtain the technical and professional skills relevant to their current duty assignment, aiding organizations in preparing succession plans for key positions, and helping managers to identify the future job skills that will be needed within the work place.

One of the immediate goals is to establish a garrisonwide civilian training database to consolidate similar training requirements from multiple organizations and to identify cost-efficient training sources.

Peterson also manages the database of the mandatory training requirements directed by higher headquarters and completes the associated reporting requirements. Peterson serves as the garrison point of contact for managing all individual and organization honorary awards, such as the annual Stalwart Award. She is available to assist organizations in preparing the nomination packets to recognize deserving garrison employees in these various higher headquarters award competitions.

One of the expected benefits of centralizing Human Resource Programs is to ensure there is a degree of standardization throughout the garrison. Currently each garrison organization develops workplace policies and processes in response to its internal needs. This approach can result in duplication of effort, and there is no effective way to share “good ideas” or know what effective human-resource practices are being used at other installations.

The DHR will serve as the garrison focal point to research, develop, coordinate and assist all organizations in putting forth the types of programs necessary to ensure the garrison can attract, retain and develop a competent work force capable of supporting emerging customer requirements.

An example of such standardization is the work now being done to improve the garrison New Employee Orientation Program. Peterson, after collecting ideas from employees and supervisors, is working to field a program that will be more responsive to the specific informational needs of a new Fort McCoy employee based on their background. For example, a new employee with no prior government service has a much different orientation requirement than an employee who has prior government service; a new Fort McCoy employee who has worked for the Department of the Army will have much different information needs than someone with no prior experience working at a military installation.

The intent is to tailor a Fort McCoy orientation program specific to the unique informational needs of each new employee based on their past employment history. Since time is a limited resource, the delivery methodology will be to provide incoming employees a DVD that they can use to supplement the one-on-one organization-specific orientation they will receive. This approach will enable an employee to have an informational resource about Fort McCoy on the first day they in-process as opposed to the current practice of waiting for an orientation session to be conducted.

The Army Sponsorship Program is being emphasized at both the Department of Army and IMCOM levels. As a result Fort McCoy will expand its current military sponsorship to include civilian sponsorship as well. All new employees will be afforded the opportunity to have a sponsor assist them in their transition to Fort McCoy.

A Process Improvement Team has been formed to review the installation’s current civilian out-processing procedures. Peterson indicated this group was successful in making positive recommendations regarding the improvement of this process that affects every civilian employee at some point.

Local Mentorship and Developmental Assignment Programs are being developed and will be modeled after the success of similar IMCOM programs. Emphasis will be given to expanding the use of career intern positions to help develop the next generation of future leaders.

Peterson will function in an ambassador role, serving as an extension of each garrison’s organization staff to assist with human resource-related needs. Most of these planned human resource initiatives are activities that are required by higher headquarters, are characteristic of most high-performing organizations, and are fully aligned with the Installation Management Community Campaign Plan Line of Effort 3 – Leader and Work Force Development.

As various products and programs are created, a site on the Fort McCoy Corporate Network will be used to share this information. Any garrison organization needing advice or assistance should contact Peterson at 608-388-5872 or by sending e-mail to Kathleen.j.peterson.civ@mail.mil.

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