Newly certified coaches add to Troop Support’s menu of employee development programs

By John Dwyer III DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Two employees from the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support will be able to share their enhanced coaching skills with the workforce through the DLA In-House Coaching Program.

Industrial Hardware Deputy Director Tina Piotrowski and Construction and Equipment integrated support team chief Pamela Tull were the first volunteers from Troop Support to be part of IHC.

IHC compliments DLA’s existing employee development tool set.

IHC program

The program, developed by the DLA Human Resources Services Workforce Development Team, focuses on “creating a coaching culture that fosters a continuous learning environment,” according to DLA HRS program manager Laura Hooper.

Each coach is trained through a program accredited by the International Coaching Federation, an independent coaching organization.

IHC aims to have 50 coaches available DLA-wide by 2020, Hooper said, all of whom will have to complete at least 60 hours of training and 100 hours of coaching to meet ICF credentialing standards. The time investment of these leaders doesn’t end there.

“[Coaches] will dedicate about 10 percent of their time to coaching other DLA employees while remaining in their current positions,” Hooper said.  

Piotrowski and Tull were happy to invest their time in the program to bring IHC to Troop Support.

Tull says she wants to create an atmosphere where employees feel more value in themselves and in their role in the DLA mission, and show that management is “walking the talk” of employee development.

She envisions the program providing “someone in your corner supporting you for your initiatives to get you to a point in your life where you may not have gotten yourself.”

Piotrowski describes herself as a life-long learner and strives to pass those lessons onto others. In her coaching training, one lesson learned was awareness of individuals’ capacity.

“I don’t think [some people] realize how much they have to contribute to our strategic mission and goals,” Piotrowski said.

A menu of workforce development tools

In a December 2017 Director’s Blog, Michael Cannon, DLA Disposition Services director and champion of the IHC Program, explained that coaching is a valuable part of a developmental tool set.

“So, do you need a counselor, a mentor or a coach? The answer for me is: all three,” Cannon said. “Coaching directly supports objectives in our DLA People and Culture Plan – it helps us develop leaders and sustain our people.”

The IHC program will be added to Troop Support’s expanding menu of workforce development tools:

Enterprise Leadership Development Program

  • Proponent: DLA Training
  • Description: Five levels of courseware through DLA’s Learning Management System, as well as other development training suited to employees’ level of responsibility.
  • POC: ELDP@dla.mil 

Troop Support command shadow program

  • Proponent: Troop Support Command Support Office
  • Description: GS-12s and above with potential and desire for senior leadership roles can shadow the commander, deputy commander or senior acquisition executive
  • POC: Nick Sistrun (nicholas.sistrun@dla.mil) or Dena Selkow (dena.selkow@dla.mil) 

Supply chain programs 

InSPIRE

  • Proponent: Industrial Hardware
  • Description: The Industrial Hardware Success and Partnership in Reaching Excellence mentoring program started in February and targets interns through new supervisors. It provides mentoring from the next higher GS level to aid in getting mentees to the next phase of their career. There are also team building activities and community service projects that the mentors and mentees participate in. Any employee may apply as a mentor or mentee.
  • POC: Joanne Anello (joanne.anello@dla.mil) or Chuck Zerambo (Charles.zerambo@dla.mil)

Construction and Equipment shadowing

  • Proponent: C&E Cultural Improvement Team
  • Description: Allows employees to shadow the supply chain’s director and/or deputy director to get a “big picture” view of operations.
  • POC: Shervon James (Shervon.james@dla.mil)

Clothing and Textiles shadow program 

  • Proponent: C&T Cultural Improvement Team
  • Description: In development; planned program will allow employees to shadow C&T senior leaders for “big picture” view of operations.
  • POC: C&T CIT (CandTCIT@dla.mil)

Subsistence shadow program

  • Proponent: Subsistence
  • Description: Rolling out in 2018 - provides two people per month an opportunity to shadow their leadership to better understand higher level decision making and how their work affects mission success and warfighter support.
  • POC: Chris Ludwig (Christopher.Ludwig@dla.mil) 

Medical

  • CIT shadow program – one GS-12 employee from both the supplier and customer facing teams shadow supply chain senior leaders for up to five days.
  • Medical Leader Brown Bag Lunch Days – Supply chain senior leaders meet quarterly with different GS levels of employees on a rotational basis to share information and address questions the workforce may have at each leadership level.
  • POC: Yvonne Poplawski (Yvonne.Poplawski@dla.mil)

Many programs, one goal

Based on the same concepts and goals enumerated in the DLA People and Culture Plan, each program has a specific focus and provides opportunities tailored to employees’ goals.

“Coaching, counseling, mentoring, consulting and training sometimes overlap in action, but they are distinct in their focus of attention,” Hooper said. “These approaches are regarded as complementary rather than mutually exclusive.”

Want to know how get from a GS-11 to a GS-12 position? Contact the InSPIRE POCs to see what your assigned GS-12 mentor did and how other GS-11s in you cohort are preparing for advancement.

Need a different perspective, a sense of impact, an understanding of how your work fits the DLA mission or insight on leadership decision making? A supply chain shadow program can assist.

Feeling overwhelmed by managerial tasks, like you are just not organized and can’t seem to cross off items on your to-do list? A coach can help you realize your potential and build more effective habits in and out of work.

Each program, though similar in their goal of developing people and culture, meets a different need in employee development.

Your voice, DLA’s future

Although usually developed at a management level, ideas for all of these programs came from workforce feedback, primarily from previous Climate Culture surveys. Responses and comments on the surveys are reviewed collectively, but the data comes from individual employee inputs.

“… it starts with an individual at a time,” Tull said.

To be a part of the collective voice that leads to opportunities like these, you can provide feedback on the 2018 DLA Culture Survey, open now through April 17.