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                 and we remain the same; equal! Human beings with the same goals! In fact, as Army Civilians and military service members we share more common attributes and goals than most other employees employed with other employers. Do you know the other members of your team? How well? How do you communicate with other members of your team? Is it effective and understood? Is there an atmosphere of coaching and mentoring in your organization? If you’re just simply “dealing” with the members of your team on a routine daily basis, I would suspect the answer to the above questions would be “no.”
The “us versus them” mentality (polarization) divides your organization at its core. Either side (Military-Civilian) fails to acknowledge the importance of the roles or responsibilities of
the other side in order to mutually succeed. The amount of wasted energy and time this causes
is mind boggling and exhausting. Stop this behavior! It boils down to culture, the lack of defining a culture that is good for the agency or
the apprehension of employees to “get on board” with the changing culture in order for the agency to grow. The problem in this case is that subgroups within a group have established an internal cultural code that is stronger than the core group they all belong to and the full potential of the core group (your organization) suffers. Changing culture in your organization is not a quick fix, this concept takes time but is very rewarding if seen through
to the end. Culture is contagious! Look in the mirror! The higher up in the organization, the
more it influences. Whatever you want to change
or strengthen in your organization, be sure you act as a standard bearer for that change. If the agency needs more collaboration, ask for it in the form of feedback. These feedback mechanisms are in place and underway now in the form of the USATC and Fort Jackson town halls, housing town halls, climate assessments and climate assessment feedback sessions, focus groups (Tiger Teams), leadership and customer pledges, OPEX- customer service support training, and the CG’s Stewardship of the Army Profession Forum, just to name a few. All these mechanisms have been proven to work! If you feel these mechanisms are not working, it’s
probably because you are not participating or getting everyone integrated and involved in the process! Stop blaming others and take ownership of your part of the problem or solution!
In Conclusion
Ladies and gentleman, as leaders, managers
and supervisors “dealing” with employees, military or civilian, in the workplace is part of your responsibility, its part of your business! It may
not be glamourous or fun, but if done ethically
and correctly the rewards are endless. Effective leadership can move agency’s to monumental heights especially in times of unknown circumstances. However, if your employees do not feel respected, or they have no trust in you or the agency then you most likely will be just simply “dealing with each other” instead of collaborating with each other. At face value we are all equal but it’s only when we remove our sense of entitlements, status, position, rank, and power that we benefit from this equality, the same human beings with the same goals. I challenge you all to focus, understand and act on the three points I’ve discussed in this article. If done effectively you will witness the attitudes and behaviors change in your agency to
a more collaborative inclusive environment. In agencies were leaders, managers, supervisors and employees practice and understand these concepts, those agencies will reap the rewards of not having to just simply “deal with each other” but instead “thrive within each other!” We know this in the Army as teamwork! One team, both military and civilian, creating an environment where we all
can work in an environment free from unlawful harassment and discrimination, capitalizing and working alongside each other to support readiness, people, reform and the modernization of our Army.
Timothy B. Gladders is an EEO Specialist/Disability Program Manager for the United States Army Garrison, USATC & Fort Jackson.
Dealing With Civilians
  Jackson Journal 69

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