Garrison improves onboarding process for civilian employees


KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – Inbound civilian employees will soon see an improved onboarding process here thanks to the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Workforce Development Team. 

In accordance with Army regulations for inprocessing of new employees, the WDT is incorporating new aspects to make the program more personalized to the employee and to the garrison. 

According to Workforce Development Program Specialist Margaret Bunton, the desired end state of the revamped process is to make new employees feel like they are home.

“New employees are going to get a wonderful experience coming onboard, and it’s going to set the tone – which is going to be a very positive one – for their experience here in Europe. They will feel welcome – welcome home,” she said. 

The WDT was established to ensure garrison employees get the proper amount of resources they need, and those resources start from the time they get their offer, Bunton explained. 

That’s why Phase 1 of the new seven-phase onboarding process will begin once a tentative offer is given to the employee. The next six phases follow the employee through their onboarding and for a year after they’ve arrived.

Phase 1: Upon tentative offer, the supervisor makes initial contact, starts a folder on the new employee and identifies a sponsor. 
Phase 2: Once the final offer is accepted, the sponsor reaches out to the new employee to collect details to determine the information being provided is relevant and tailored to the individual. 
Phase 3: The new employee’s work area is prepared once the start date is known. This phase ensures not only that work areas are clean and ready, but also that reasonable accommodations have been met if needed.
Phase 4: The new employee arrives; the sponsor arranges transportation or picks him or her up at the airport and helps the new team member get settled in.
Phase 5: The new employee gets a protected two-week period to attend inprocessing briefs and any classes needed for their job, and to get integrated into the community.
Phase 6: The employee receives a tour of the USAG RP headquarters building and attends a meet-and-greet lunch with the Garrison Command Team. The employee and supervisor receive a briefing, and the supervisor provides an initial counseling. 
Phase 7: The employee is released to the supervisor and the WDT follows him or her for a year, checking in quarterly, to ensure the employee is getting the assistance and resources needed to be successful.

Bunton said Phase 6 is something totally new and unique to USAG RP. 
“So many employees across the board get to their jobs, sit down, and wait weeks or months before getting their initial counseling. To get it right when they first start is something that will be great for both the supervisor and the employee because everyone will be on the same page from day one,” she explained. 

Bunton encouraged supervisors and sponsors to take the time up front to properly prepare new employees. 

“The idea is, once an employee shows up to work, they’re ready to work,” she said. “The first couple weeks are hard. A lot of times, new employees don’t even have a Common Access Card yet.”

Bunton said packing the briefings, classes, community integration and initial counselings into the very beginning makes efficient use of time and enables employees to be ready to go once they arrive to their desk.

The WDT makes sure employees, from the time they get their offer all the way throughout their garrison career, are receiving the proper tools they need in order to be successful in their jobs, Bunton said. In order to do so, Bunton asked supervisors to take an active role and reach out to the WDT to make sure they’re doing everything they should be doing in order to set their new employee up for success. 

USAG RP Workforce Development Lead Darin Pemberton explained some of the new tools the team has developed to help supervisors. 

“To move newcomers’ books away from simply three-ring binders with printed PowerPoint slides, we’ve produced a Welcome Guide designed to be user-friendly, that cuts to the chase with important information for new employees,” Pemberton said. Along with the guide, the WDT also distributes guides for sponsors and supervisors filled with relevant and easily-digestible hints, tips and resources to help them assist the new employee, he added.

“Installation Management Command says ‘We are the Army’s Home.’ The Workforce Development Team is working to turn that slogan into reality for new employees – to feel like they found a home here at USAG RP,” Pemberton said. 

To get in touch with the WDT, call DSN 541-3502 or Civ. 0611-143-541-3502.