DLA HR director rolls out People and Culture Plan to Distribution workforce

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Human Resources director Brad Bunn, Senior Executive Service, paid a visit to the DLA Distribution workforce on Jan. 18 to unveil the Agency’s first independent People and Culture Plan.

Bunn kicked off the session by announcing that when DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams came on board with the Agency he asked his leadership to review the organization’s existing Strategic Plan.  Together, the group decided that while the existing plan was strong, it needed updated to reflect the realities of the environment in which the Agency was now operating.

He further explained that the group had also determined that the People and Culture aspect of the plan, which was previously delivered as a dedicated Line of Effort, needed an amplified focus in any forthcoming plans, as Williams felt it was the underpinning of the Agency’s mission.

As such, leadership determined that a separate human capital plan that laid the framework for defining, organizing, and prioritizing human capital management was necessary for the Agency, which ultimately led to the development of the People and Culture Plan.

After covering the demographics of the DLA workforce - which show that, for the first time, the Agency has four generations of employees working side-by-side - Bunn broke down each of the plan’s objectives under the “People” category of the plan, stating “This is the part where we ask ‘Are we attracting the right people?  Are we developing our leaders?  Are we managing our talent properly?’”

People Objectives:

Objective 1: Develop Leaders – Leverage and expand leadership programs that attract, develop, and retain diverse talent to meet current and future mission requirements.

Objective 2: Resource the Enterprise - Recruit and retain a diverse, talented, and skilled workforce.

Objective 3: Manage the Talent – Develop, promote, and sustain initiatives to strengthen workforce competencies to meet emerging mission requirements.

Objective 4: Sustain our People – Provide the environment, tools, and resources for employees to be protected, resilient, and mission-focused in the face of professional and personal challenges.

The “Culture” objectives, said Bunn, are focused on ensuring that the Agency fosters an inclusive, diverse workforce where people communicate in a positive way, are performing work in alignment with the organization’s mission and goals, and are rewarded based on performance.

Culture Objectives:

Objective 5: Fortify Culture – Foster an organizational culture where employees are engaged and motivated to achieve mission excellence.

Objective 6: Perform and Reward – Sustain a results oriented performance culture that links individual performance and recognition to organizational goals and performance-based actions.

Objective 7: Build Connections – Create an environment where employees share a common perspective allowing them to work effectively across organizational boundaries, eliminate “silos,” and promote actions that are in the best interest of DLA as a whole.

Objective 8: Protect the Workforce – Leverage and enhance the DLA Safety & Occupational Health (SOH) Program to build a culture focused on reducing the risk of injury or illness to the workforce and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.

After covering each objective for the audience, Bunn discussed how the Agency plans to provide the workforce the necessary tools in meeting these goals, listing initiatives already in place (such as a telework and executive development programs) as well as several upcoming independent studies that will look at whether or not these initiatives are positively contributing to the organization’s culture. 

Bunn also cited the upcoming March 2018 Culture Survey as a major way feedback will be collected from the workforce on how the Agency is doing in meeting its self-identified targets.  “The survey will truly allow us to looking in the mirror and hear from [employees] on whether or not we’re exhibiting and demonstrating that behavior that builds a culture of performance, mutual dignity, respect, and alignment.”