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                   There are many reasons why personnel leave a position earlier than expected. Some go because supervisors have no interest in building their skills, no recognition for their efforts, and do not feel their voice is essential. “You cannot increase your people capacity unless you value people and care about them. If you don’t like people, don’t respect them, and don’t believe that they have value, it stands as a barrier to your success with them, (Maxwell, p. 94).”
Prepare PEOPLE to move up and continue serving in the organization. The key to building
a more vital organization is positive actions and interest from the supervisor to develop their personnel, preparing them for future positions. The collective strength of individuals within the organization can elevate the Team to achieve greater heights. As Stephen Covey stated, “Bottom line, one person can make a difference. One Team can make a difference. One organization can make a difference. One country can make a difference, p.36.” We must invest in our PEOPLE to make a difference in their job, make an impact as part of the Army Team, and serve our country.
Building a succession personnel plan can
assist the organization in retaining qualified, experienced, and talented personnel. We need
to look within the organization and invest in
our personnel now for the future. Forecast the needs of the organization based on the identified priorities. Supervisors must provide opportunities to advance personnel within their craft to be ready and available for the succession position. Look at retirements and anticipated upward movement by existing personnel to prepare for future vacancies. However, not all higher-level positions within a career field are within the same organization, so qualifying personnel may need to move outside the organization for higher-level positions since these positions become scarce at the higher level.
Encourage personnel to find the position
that they have an interest in performing. Some personnel may be working in jobs that do not inspire or interest them, and therefore performance may be lower than expected. Everyone has untapped skills that will flourish if given the opportunity. Ask your personnel if they are satisfied with their current position and ask if they desire other functions. This question will open
up communication, and then you will find a job that they have a passion for filling. Staying in tune with your personnel to find the correct position will propel the organization to greatness. All
these approaches could retain the skills needed in the organization while keeping the organization moving forward.
Finally, are you a supervisor who develops personnel or does not engage and encourage personnel to build their skills? As supervisors, we need to focus on the particular skills required in the Army, build the skills of our current personnel, and invest in PEOPLE for the future. Building and maintaining an effective quality workforce through continued training and education will sustain
the current and future operational requirements. Investing in PEOPLE now affords us lasting institutional benefits and ensures the future of the organization. Investing in PEOPLE means that we must recruit, build, and retain talent to keep our Army strong.
COL MacDonald is the United States Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Deputy Chief of Staff for the Army National Guard.
Army Regulation (AR) 350-1, Army Training and Leader Development, 10 Dec 2017.
Covey, Stephen M.R., Smart Trust, Free Press, New York, NY. 2012.
Maxwell, John C., No Limits, Center Street, New York, NY, 2017.
TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, The U.S Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028, 6 Dec 2018.
TRADOC Communication Handbook, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Spring Edition FY 2020.
Wren, Thomas J. Leader’s Companion, Insights on Leadership Through the Ages. The Free Press, New York, NY. 1995.
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