News | Oct. 16, 2020

DLA Energy employee-led committees improve workforce culture

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy's success is largely the result of its most valuable asset: its workforce. To help build a positive workplace environment, the employee-led DLA Energy Advisory and Integration Council pursues initiatives to foster and promote open communication across the organization.

In an update to DLA Energy Deputy Commander Eric Smith on Oct. 9, the Advisory and Integration Council committees discussed current trends, issues and concerns.

“One of the key benefits of this council is to ensure everyone’s input is heard and they have a chance to part of the solution, which is essential for DLA Energy’s continued success,” Smith said. “Getting the workforce involved is critical because we can always do better.”

The council is comprised of three committees, with a new one being added, was a result of employees comments from the 2018 Denison Culture Climate Survey

The Supervisory Committee is led by three supervisors; Utility Services Contracting Officer Patti Rivera, Strategic Policy & Programs Project Officer Caitlin O’Leary and Bulk Petroleum Rocky Mountain West Division Chief Callie Ettleson Lake, the champion. The role of the champion is to be the main link between the committee and the DLA Energy Resource Board. 

This committee allows supervisors the opportunity to share ideas, discuss concerns, and offer suggestions affecting and/or involving management. They are currently working on topics for quarterly Supervisory Town Halls and DLA Human Resources on improvements to the hiring process.

“We are continually looking for ways to improve the Supervisory role to include better understanding hiring practices, evaluating supervisory tools available, and discussing efficiencies that can be gained in our roles,” Ettleson Lake said.  

The Training Committee is chaired by Acquisition Workforce Development & Intern Center Project officers Ditu Katsui, co-chaired by Dari Carver, and the champion is Business Process Support Directorate Training & Human Performance Lead Susan Turner. This committee focuses on training and development issues to develop and build the workforce at all levels. It is currently working on raising awareness of training process and the use of virtual tools.

“We want to renew and expand our training portfolio and make people aware of training opportunities for individual development plans,” Kasuyi said. “We also want to come up with training standardization for specific job series.”

One of the challenges facing the training committee is how to pay for training, including conferences, in a virtual environment.

The Culture Climate Committee is chaired by Rozanna Cherry, the co-chair is currently vacant and the champion is Greg Thevenin. This committee works to improve cultural environment and is the conduit between junior employees and senior leadership throughout DLA Energy on the Culture/Climate Action Plan focus areas.

The Culture/Climate Action Plan is developed based on feedback received from the biennial Denison Culture Climate Survey. DLA employees received a link to the confidential survey in their email last Friday, Oct. 9, and have until Nov. 13 to complete it. As of Oct. 16, more than 17% of DLA Energy employees have completed the survey.

“Let your voices be heard,” Smith said. “Your candid feedback counts and can make a positive difference. Our goal is 100% participation within DLA Energy.”

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee, led by DLA Energy Equal Employment Opportunity Director Ahmad Burse is the newest committee to be adopted. This committee’s objectives focuses on workforce diversity, workplace inclusion and strategies to equip leaders with the ability to manage diversity, be accountable, measure results, refine approaches and institutionalize a culture of inclusion.

Looking to make a difference and get involved in the Advisory and Integration Council or one of the committees to help shape the future of DLA Energy’s organizational culture? Please contact Callie Ettleson Lake or Patti Rivera for more information.