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News | Aug. 25, 2023

Culture survey feedback takes training to new heights at Aberdeen

By Cindy Pray DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

New associates at Defense Logistics Agency Land – Aberdeen are immersing into DLA culture and gaining skills to succeed with enhanced onboarding efforts developed by the detachment’s Culture Council.

The initial program was launched in 2019 in response to the DLA Culture and Climate Survey but has expanded since, said DLA Land – Aberdeen Deputy Director Allison Scannell.

“When we received the survey results back, the team focused on a few areas with room for improvement,” she said. “The feedback focused on training, and at the time, centered around new associates wanting a place to go to find answers – a single point of reference.”

The council came up with the idea of a self-paced training plan with weekly templates for the first month of employment that offers resource links, videos and webinars to guide associates through their initial onboarding.

Week one provides an overview of DLA culture and local procedures, then each week progresses with introductions on the systems used and on-the-job training. The plan then builds into monthly and yearly templates, so every associate may assess their progress at any time.

“The biggest impact of this training plan is that it gives DLA Land – Aberdeen associates a one-stop reference with all the necessary tools and resources to have a successful career as a contract specialist or procurement analyst,” said DLA Land – Aberdeen Procurement Analyst Myra Dierks.

“We recently added a local video library component to the training plan,” she added. “This was a significant process improvement because it provides consistency in training and offers refresher opportunities for all associates.”

Contract Specialist Johnny Woods, who has been with the detachment since 2014, said the training plan has been beneficial for all.

“It’s really helped streamline training for new associates and gives them more confidence to find the resources they need to do the job,” he said. “I still use a copy from time to time when I’m looking for a resource for something I haven’t done in while.”

Contract Specialist Marley Joyner, a newer associate who started earlier this year, said it has made all the difference for her. 

“I came from a non-contracting role and wouldn’t have known where to start or what to expect, but the training plan process gave me the information I need to do my job,” she said. “And I’m confident it will be a good tool to refer back as I gain exposure to more in-depth contracting work.”

Scannell said the positive results they are seeing reflect the importance of DLA Culture and Climate Survey participation.

“It provides an opportunity for all associates to share their experiences, not only in understanding what makes DLA a great place to work, but also by showing us where we have room to improve,” she said.

People and Culture is one of three critical capabilities outlined in DLA Land and Maritime’s Strategic Plan, and is fundamental to its successful transformation. In support of this effort, the 2023 DLA Culture and Climate Survey launched Aug. 21 to gather feedback and insights from across the DLA workforce. The survey runs through Sept. 30 and all employees are encouraged to participate.