DLA People and Culture Plan

Emblem stating people and culture in the middle with the words innovation, data management, and technology around the outsideOur ability to attract, develop, and retain a diverse, skilled, and agile workforce is vital to our continued success. We will use innovative approaches to attract and retain mission-focused employees. We will foster an environment that equitably unlocks the full potential of our workforce; develop their competencies and resilience, enabling them to achieve peak performance; advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility initiatives, and cultivate and retain the next generation of employees agile enough to adapt to a dynamic future. As such, we will continue our focus on people and culture and ensure our workforce is engaged and motivated.

The culture of an organization is its personality - how it functions and expresses itself. Culture fundamentally  impacts the relationships employees have with leaders and co-workers, the work that is performed and the way in which it is performed, and the type and quality of connection to the organization that is experienced. In DLA, organizational culture refers to the underlying beliefs, values, and assumptions held by members of an organization, and the practices and behaviors that exemplify and reinforce them. More simply, it’s “the way things get done around here.” We believe that what we say we value as an organization should align with what we actually see and do in the workplace.

Engagement is an emotional commitment, which can lead to discretionary effort – the effort employees choose to exercise in support of DLA and its mission. Engagement is a key driver of higher retention, increased innovation and productivity, higher customer satisfaction, lower safety risks, and decreased absenteeism. In short, long term organizational success requires engaged employees.

People and Culture is one of three Critical Capabilities in the DLA Strategic Plan 2021– 2026 that are fundamental to our successful logistics transformation. It intersects and supports the five Lines of Effort with specific underlying objectives, initiatives, and metrics.


People Objectives

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Develop leaders by refreshing and strengthening leadership competencies.

DLA managers and supervisors must possess the skills to lead an increasingly diverse workforce to leverage the talents, experiences, backgrounds, perspectives that allows each member of the team the ability to reach their full potential in a technologically advanced workplace.

We must assess and improve our current leadership model and leadership competencies to cultivate supervisors who are prepared to successfully manage in this evolving environment.

  • Initiative CC-A1.1.1: Develop leaders by refreshing and strengthening leadership competencies. DLA will conduct Senior Leader Discussion Forums, administer multi-source feedback (MSF) process/reporting in the Learning Management System (LMS), and plan the biennial Build Your Roadmap to Success (BYR2S) forum to assess and improve our current leadership model and leadership competencies.
  • Initiative CC-A1.1.2: Sustain DLA processes and initiatives that build candidates for career enhancement opportunities. DLA will use career development programs and succession management initiatives to continually develop candidates with the skills to inspire greater confidence and productivity in the workforce.

Image of a woman standing and presenting to a room of people seated at a conference table

Recruit and retain a diverse, talented, and skilled workforce.

Without a trained and skilled workforce, the Agency cannot accomplish its mission. DLA must complement its recruitment and retention strategies with a variety of paths to career success. Attracting and retaining a highly skilled, diverse workforce requires a comprehensive strategic approach, innovative recruitment efforts, succession management initiatives, and the right balance between speed and quality in hiring.

  • Initiative CC-A1.2.1: Leverage Direct Hire Authorities (DHAs) to build diversity across the Agency. DLA will develop and implement strategies to maximize the use of DHAs to attract and hire a diverse workforce capable of meeting DLA’s mission needs more effectively.
  • Initiative CC-A1.2.2: Implement manpower management processes to include establishing a manpower requirements determination process. DLA will establish and mature the Joint Manpower Program, as described in DLA Instruction 1100.01. The instruction describes responsibilities, processes, and procedures for manpower management, as well as the basic tenets for development of manpower standards.

Image of two women seated at a table, one taking a test and one helping over the shoulder

Develop, promote, and sustain initiatives to strengthen workforce competencies including mission-critical occupations (MCOs) competency models and career maps to meet emerging mission requirements and leverage digital technologies to enhance effectiveness.

DLA Human Resources will partner with agency leaders and Functional Community Managers (FCMs) to assess emerging and future mission imperatives that may require new enterprise and occupational competencies. We will continue developing and updating career maps that identify learning and development opportunities to help employees chart their career path, to include incorporating digital transformation skills where necessary. All of this comprises a comprehensive talent management approach that will position the Agency for success.

  • Initiative CC-A1.3.2: Implement training and development strategies to maintain a high performing workforce in support of Digital Business Transformation. DLA will develop, implement, and sustain basic digital capabilities within the DLA workforce.
  • Initiative CC-A1.3.3: Foster the development of our current and future acquisition workforce (AWF). DLA will sustain a professional and innovative AWF with the capability to execute DLA’s mission in support of the Warfighter.

Image of a group of employees helping distribute cases of water onto pallets

Provide the environment, tools, and resources for employees to be protected, resilient, and mission-focused in the face of professional and personal challenges.

DLA relies on a large, diverse, and resilient workforce to meet its mission. The key to DLA’s future success is to develop a flexible workforce capable of meeting and overcoming obstacles and able to adapt to changes. In turn, DLA leadership must provide a safe, healthy, and secure work environment within which our people can thrive. Our capacity to be responsive and flexible, to be resilient in the face of life’s pressures and demands, and to handle crisis operations when required is crucial to accomplishing the DLA mission and maintaining work-life balance.

  • Initiative CC-A1.4.1: Promote awareness and availability of programs and resources that contribute to workforce resiliency. DLA will promote the availability of workforce resiliency programs and resources that help employees create or maintain work-life balance, recover quickly from setbacks, and handle demands that are placed upon them.
  • Initiative CC-A1.4.2/CC-A1.4.3: Maintain individual and organizational focus on the security of our workplace by enhancement of protection capabilities designed to prevent, detect, and respond to internal/ external threats and all-hazard events. DLA will ensure agency is equipped to detect, deter, and mitigate potential risks to DLA networks, personnel, facilities, infrastructure, assets, information, and operations assuring supply chain excellence as well as strengthen prevention and detection of all hazards and threats; improve protection mitigation, response and recovery to normal operations, and assure supply chain security excellence.
  • Initiative CC-A1.4.4: Integrate employee protection programs designed to provide early detection of a potential Insider threat. DLA will leverage programs that support early detection of potential insider threats and conform to DOD policy for response and reporting.


Culture Objectives

Image of a group of warfighters talking with some business folks taking notes in the background

Foster an organizational culture where employees are engaged and motivated to achieve mission excellence.

DLA has leveraged the use of surveys for many years to assess the current culture and identify ways to improve it, with the overarching purpose of developing and sustaining a high performance culture. Surveys provide a confidential mechanism for employees to share feedback on their work environment, resulting in opportunities for DLA employees and leaders to engage in thoughtful, data-driven discussions that lead to informed action and improve our collective performance.

  • Initiative CC-A2.1.1: Leverage the DLA Culture/Climate Survey to assess organizational culture/climate, conduct analyses, and develop enterprise focus areas. DLA will prepare and execute the DLA Culture/Climate Survey followed by comprehensive analyses of the results and delivery of actionable recommendations to improve the DLA culture.
  • Initiative CC-A2.1.2: Develop, implement, and monitor concrete action plans to address specific issues identified in the DLA Culture/Climate Survey. DLA senior leaders and Culture Champions will collaborate on the development and implementation of culture/climate action plans to address specific focus areas identified in the DLA Culture/ Climate Survey results. Culture/climate action plan progress will be monitored by the DLA Director and J1 quarterly.

Image of two warfighters loading a truck full of small boxes with one civilian onlooker

Sustain a results-oriented performance culture that links individual performance and recognition to organizational goals and performance-based actions.

DLA is committed to creating a culture of high organizational effectiveness that focuses on employee engagement, development, performance, and accountability. The benefits of a successfully implemented performance management and appraisal program includes a workforce where every employee’s duties are aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives and where employees understand the importance of the work they do every day.

The DoD Performance Management and Appraisal Program helps realize this alignment by creating a performance management framework with a focus on continuous feedback and two-way communication between supervisors and employees. Effective performance management is a partnership between employees and supervisors aimed at mission success. 

Recognizing and rewarding achievements or contributions is an integral part of effective performance management. Acknowledging good performance in a timely way, not just at the end of a rating cycle, is part of creating a high-performing culture. DLA is establishing an enterprise approach to performance-based recognition and awards under DPMAP through which awards will be distributed in a fair, consistent, and transparent way that makes meaningful distinctions in levels of performance.

  • Initiative CC-A2.2.1: Evaluate DPMAP Execution to Ensure a High Performing Culture. DLA will continue to use DPMAP to increase awareness of individual performance expectations and each employee’s importance in organizational performance. DLA also will continue to emphasize each supervisor’s responsibility to discuss expectations and results with employees throughout the cycle, carefully evaluate employee performance, and align employee contributions with awards and recognition.

Image of a forklift driver loading a pallet of boxes onto the back of a military aircraft

Sustain a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility, equality, and fairness to enable individuals to contribute to their full potential.

DLA must cultivate an inclusive environment that engages employees, promotes mutual respect and trust, and provides tools and flexibilities at all levels to maximize individual and collective potential.

  • Initiative CC-A2.3.1: Promote a diverse and inclusive environment that empowers employees at all levels to perform to their maximum potential. DLA will provide opportunities for employees to increase productivity and effectiveness, remove identified barriers that limit employee advancement, identify strategies to recruit underrepresented groups, and promote diversity and inclusion.

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Leverage and enhance the DLA Safety & Occupational Health Program to build a culture focused on reducing the risk of injury or illness to the workforce and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.
DLA is committed to creating a safety culture that focuses on leadership engagement and employee involvement. The critical task is to execute a predictive Safety and Occupational Health (SOH) program by enabling organizations to focus on preventing the next mishap. To achieve this objective, we will provide Major Subordinate Commands (MSCs) with the capabilities they need to make timely, informed decisions based on risk.
  • Initiative CC-A2.4.1: Continue Safety Program Modernization: Support Agency efforts to modernize the Safety and Occupational Health (SOH) Program to comply with DoDI 6055.01. DLA will modernize the Agency SOH Program by focusing on three lines of effort (Mishap Reporting and Investigation, Inspection and Hazard Management, and Training and Awareness) to create a culture where MSC and Regional Commanders and J/D-code Directors are responsible for SOH program performance.
  • Initiative CC-A2.4.2: Improve mishap reporting and investigation using the DLA SOH Management System in support of providing leaders with actionable trending and analysis for making risk-based decisions. DLA will empower supervisors’ active involvement in mishap reporting and investigation increasing awareness of investigation and analysis methods to improve identification of contributing factors, to identify and implement effective control measures, and to share lessons learned to prevent future mishap and near miss events.
  • Initiative CC-A2.4.3: Improve SOH inspection and hazard management process to focus on eliminating or controlling identified hazards in the workplace. DLA will enhance supervisor knowledge to enable management to identify and characterize hazards, determine, and implement effective control measures, and document actions completed in the DLA system of record to ensure DLA employees are provided a safe and healthy work environment.
  • Initiative CC-A2.4.4: Improve SOH training and awareness programs by aligning current programs with emerging SOH modernization efforts to ensure standardization across all organizations. DLA will use training and developmental resources to merge requirements and training with core competencies, gain efficiencies and effectiveness, and in coordination J1 develop specialized training to meet specific risk-based requirements.

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