Human resources professionals from across the Army Materiel Command enterprise, including its depots, arsenals and activities, shared ideas and synchronized efforts during a workshop in support of AMC Organic Industrial Base Readiness, June 25-27.
The workshop, which followed Line of Effort 7, the OIB Human Capital Strategic Plan, served as an end-state to develop a human capital framework, said Sandra Gaston, a G-1 program manager and the workshop’s facilitator.
“The purpose of developing the Human Capital Plan is to build and codify a strategic framework that will define the key priorities for the OIB workforce, while supporting AMC future readiness,” Gaston said.
The workshop was a follow-up to workforce planning conducted earlier in the year, in which the team collectively came up with objectives that are in line with the command’s strategic plan. The plan includes human strategies, goals and objectives, all of which align with OIB workload requirements. In fact, Gaston said, LOE 7 integrates in all seven of AMC’s strategic priorities.
Those priorities include Installation Readiness, Soldier and Family Readiness, Industrial Base Readiness, Munitions Readiness, Strategic Power Projection, Supply Availability and Equipment Readiness, and Logistics Information Readiness. Each objective has strategic efforts or initiatives, or best practices, to achieve their strategic efforts.
“The human capital programs we have in place are all part of ensuring we have Ready Army Civilians and that we meet the goal of the AMC commanding general to have 100% of AMC employees doing 100% of the right work,” AMC G-1 Director and Deputy Chief of Staff Max Wyche said.
During the workshop, HR professionals actively engaged with each other to discuss and define the most effective methods to retain and support the command’s 100,000 civilian employees, who in turn are responsible for ensuring AMC stays on top of its game as the Army’s materiel integrator and premier provider of readiness to the entire force. Employees at AMC’s 23 OIB facilities are charged with the unique tasks of overhauling, modernizing and upgrading major weapons systems, including major rebuilds to high-tech upgrades, which improve reliability and lethality for the country’s Soldiers.
Part of AMC G-1’s mission is to also lead the human capital management program, a key ingredient to ensuring the best and brightest are hired for the job, who are then properly supported by management, have access to appropriate training, take pride in their work and in turn are retained as effective workers.
To do that, leaders need to really know their employees and what those employees respond best to, said Jen Pusatere, an HR specialist at Watervliet Arsenal in New York.
“Leaders need to understand what the workforce likes, whether they value time or cash as incentives, for example. Really understanding this, as well as their culture and values, leads to retention. It’s not as easily done as I’m saying it, but supervisors need to know it really comes down to this as a potential solution,” Pusatere said.
While it comes to understanding people, nobody does it better than those supervisors who work closest to the workstation. With management on the ground properly knowing their people and the specific tasks they are responsible for, they have the tools to manage capabilities. But when there are unpredictable workloads, staff-retention problems tend to follow, Gaston said.
“Workload unpredictability results in the inability to plan, resource and respond to emerging readiness requirements to the OIB environment. This LOE will help formalize workload and funding capacity planning to improve the LMP support capabilities,” Gaston said.
The metrics garnered from the operational model during the three-day workshop are a good diagnostic tool used to discover items that may not have been immediately apparent beforehand, Gaston added.
“But metrics are sometimes one of the hardest things to track, because it can be difficult to get people to try to understand the same things the same way,” she said.
Gaston said the team used the SMART method – or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely – to develop their plans.
“When you get down the road and start measuring realistically, together, you can really influence and shape change as a whole. An OIB readiness campaign improves the overall culture of the OIB, from the headquarters down to every depot, arsenal, activity, to everyone across the Life Cycle Management Command,” she said.
The AMC readiness campaign plan’s goal is to help ensure the OIB workforce has the competencies, skills and capacity to support AMC readiness as requirements change, as well as align with and enforce the Army’s future strategy.
“As a facilitator, I’m confident that this workshop is part of making the OIB better, and I understand and appreciate the enthusiasm shown by the participants because we are invested – and truly believe in – the process and product,” Gaston said.