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 June 11, 2010


Family & MWR Employee, Customer Covenant signed at McCoy

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

The signing of the Family and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Employee and Customer Covenant at Fort McCoy May 25 marked a commitment to increase employee morale and customer satisfaction.

Army Senior Executive Leadership approved the comprehensive, holistic Customer Service Program for the Army Family and MWR to create and sustain a customer-service culture.

PHOTO: Todd Seitz (left), the director of Fort McCoy Family and MWR, Col. David E. Chesser, Fort McCoy garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr., garrison command sergeant major, sign the Family and MWR Employee and Customer Covenant. Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig of the Fort McCoy U.S. Army Garrison, is at the podium. Photo by Jobi Spolum
Todd Seitz (left), the director of Fort McCoy Family and MWR, Col. David E. Chesser, Fort McCoy garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr., garrison command sergeant major, sign the Family and MWR Employee and Customer Covenant. Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig of the Fort McCoy U.S. Army Garrison, who supported the reading of the Employee and Customer Covenant, is at the podium. Photo by Jobi Spolum

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser, Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr., and Todd Seitz, the director of Fort McCoy Family and MWR, signed the covenant.

Seitz gave an overview of the multi-faceted program to MWR employees.

Within the first 30 days, team-member orientation will be held. People will get to know who and what MWR is, and what Fort McCoy is so all employees understand the mission of Fort McCoy, and understand the mission of what MWR does to support Fort McCoy, Seitz said.

Performance standards will be defined to ensure employees know what needs to be done to ensure quality performance. Seitz said training gives employees support tools, including education and information available, so they can know the MWR programs and can meet the performance standards.

The program will ensure recognition is given to employees who perform the work accordingly.

Career development will be emphasized to give employees career tracks, education and support to become program managers, division chiefs or whatever level they hope to obtain, he said.

Employee Covenant

Taking care of our customers begins with taking care of you, our employees.

We are committed to providing a strong, supportive environment where you can thrive.

To that end, we promise to position you for success with:

• A robust orientation to welcome you to the Family and MWR team

• Clear performance standards for service excellence

• Formal and informal training to develop your skills

• Performance support tools to assist you on the job

• A holistic program of recognition and incentives to reward excellent service

• Career-development opportunities to reach your full potential

“This is a great step toward professionalizing MWR,” Seitz said. “It standardizes it, it educates it, and gives incentives for the employees, and the employee knows what to do to provide the best customer service.”

Chesser said the driving force behind the covenant is the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) was replicating what the Army did with the Army Family Covenant.

“It is the Army’s promise to our Soldiers and their Families to provide a higher quality of life commensurate with their able service to our nation,” he said.

In the past, the Army’s mantra was if it wanted Soldiers to have a Family they would have issued them one, Chesser said. The Army realized that had to change. Families, including children, contribute to the quality of life of that Soldier and contribute to a Soldier’s decision to stay in the Army.

If Families are not taken care of, the Army will not have an all-volunteer force in sufficient numbers to honor the contract to fight and win the nation’s wars, Chesser said.

IMCOM decided to begin the Employee and Customer Covenant because it believed it could achieve success similar to that achieved with the Army Family Covenant.

“This is the Army, IMCOM, and the Garrison’s commitment to provide to you — the employees, the nonuniformed employees — a higher quality of life,” he said.

It’s a theme he has stressed early and often, Chesser said.

During his change-of-command ceremony in April 2008, it was one of the three things he said would be a focal point of his time in command. Chesser said he wanted to achieve a higher quality of life for the installation and didn’t specify or limit it to the military, those stationed here, the transient population or the employees.

“I meant for all,” he said. “I meant while you’re at work, while you’re at home, the transient training audience and Soldiers and servicemembers who come through here,” he said. “I am deadly serious about that.”

Customer Covenant

We are committed to providing quality through service excellence to our Soldiers and Families commensurate with the quality of their service to our nation.

We understand that we create value for our customers through predictable, consistent, efficient and customer-focused service.

To that end, we promise our customers they will:

• Always be respected and treated as individuals who are valued

• Receive a prompt and friendly greeting in a professional and courteous manner

• Experience aesthetically-pleasing facilities

• Receive timely, accurate and helpful information

• Be offered high-quality products and services

• Have an opportunity to provide feedback

Chesser said if employees enjoy where they are working they will be a more contented employee. The customer-satisfaction levels they achieve will be higher.

Anita Saab will help Fort McCoy accomplish those goals. Saab, who works out of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., is one of 30 customer service coordinators strategically placed throughout the Army who will help Family and MWR directors implement, monitor and sustain the standardized enterprise Family and MWR Service Program.

To illustrate and emphasize how good customer service is important in accomplishing the mission, Chesser used a story about the 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment, an active-component unit from Fort Sill, Okla.

Fort McCoy’s primary mission is to train Soldiers from the reserve-component, he said. But a transportation unit attached to the 2nd, 18th convoyed all the way from Fort Sill to Fort McCoy to train here. The other elements flew and railroaded their equipment to Fort McCoy.

“Upon his arrival, I met with the battalion commander and asked him why he came all the way from Fort Sill to train at Fort McCoy,” Chesser said.

The commander told Chesser, “‘I was here several years ago as the battalion’s executive officer. I was so thrilled with the quality of training here, the customer satisfaction, and the way you take care of units, I said I’m going back up there if I ever become battalion commander.’”

That spoke highly of Fort McCoy. Chesser said the installation uses the Interactive Customer Evaluation Survey system, customer comment cards at dining facilities, exit surveys, etc., to track this data.

Fort McCoy is achieving a high level of customer satisfaction because its relevancy is tied to that, he said.

“If units do not want to come here — and they have a choice — if they don’t choose to come to Fort McCoy year-after-year, we will not continue to exist as an installation,” he said.

In closing, Chesser thanked the MWR employees for what they do.

He said during the Newcomers Orientation briefings, he tells new employees they are the front line of support to the customers, whether it’s the Soldiers who are here for three weeks before deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq, the retirees coming through the area and seeking lodging support, etc.

“You make a profound difference in their lives,” he said. “I can talk about the value of customer focus all I want, but if I haven’t convinced you of the importance, if you don’t understand it, and if you’re not working toward customer satisfaction and excellence, we’ll never get there.”

Fort McCoy is extremely well received in the eyes of IMCOM, First Army, and the U.S. Army Reserve Command because of what the work force does on a daily basis, he said. “Units are requesting to come to Fort McCoy by name,” even when they may have choices nearer their home, because the quality of life is better at Fort McCoy than their other choices,” he added.

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