Tuesday, March 5, 2013
"Brilliant" on the basics? Some commands don't even have the light on.
If you were to assess your command in these six categories, how would you score?
The foundation for success in any command can, in part, be attributed to these six areas that form the enduring foundation upon which a successful career can be launched:
1. Sponsorship/first 72 hours:
Proactive interaction by a sponsor and ombudsman can solve many issues before the Sailor and family arrives aboard. Paving the way for a smooth transition and making each Navy family feel like a genuine part of their new command can ensure a family commitment of support to enable success for all.
2. Assign a Mentor:
Leader’s should be proactive in mentoring; give junior Sailors and peers the benefit of your experience. There are formal and informal means in which to execute an effective mentorship program. Each of us can attribute our own success to a great mentor. Ensure our Sailors understand the value of senior and peer mentorship.
A great sponsorship program must be followed up by an effective indoctrination program. This will send a strong, positive signal that we value the talent and skills of the Sailor and we have a plan to integrate them into the team. Additionally it immediately sets the tone on what you expect of the Sailor and also what should be expected from you. Requirements and best practices can be found in OPNAVINST 1740.3C.
Career Development Boards (CDBs) - Leadership involvement, primarily by the CMC, the Chief’s mess and the Command Career Counselor, is critical to the success of every Sailor. CDBs are required within 30 days of a Sailor reporting aboard, and again at 6 and 12 months. (Many commands can't get EVALs/FITREPS done on time and you can imagine their success in accomplishing the CDB requirement).
5. Ombudsman program:
Ombudsman are trained to disseminate information from the chain of command to the families, including official command information, Quality Of Life opportunities, and community information. They can also provide referrals and are instrumental in resolving family issues before the issues require extensive command attention. Every Sailor and Family member should know the Command Ombudsman. How do you advertise your Ombudsman?
The end of tour should not be the only time a Sailor is recognized. Recognition can also include mid-tour awards, Flag Letters Of Commendation, letters of appreciation, and highlighting accomplishments in the POD and other public venues. Be creative, praise in public, and make your Sailors know they are appreciated. Something as simple as public recognition, a hand shake or a pat on the back often means more than an official award.