Friday, March 04, 2005

The Value of the Military’s Skill Set – Part VII

Part VII - “Total Care” Index to the Series: Part I: Initiative, marketing, sales, project planning and program management skills Part II: Auditing Skills Part III: Operations 24/7/365 Part IV: “Point Papers” Part V: Collateral Duties Part VI: The “Git ‘er done!” Factor Part VII: “Total Care” Part VIII: Communications in the Workplace Part IX: "Give a smart person with potential a chance" Part X: Process Engineering, Continuous Improvement, Total Quality Management, Total Quality Leadership, or what ever you call it. The bottom line title: Making “it” better Part XI: The Military's Supply System Part XII: “Red Blood or Red Ink” Part XIII: Constructive Plagerism "Total Care:" The concept is when you have a military unit, leadership at all levels requires “total care” of those assigned under you. Most every aspect of their lives are now a responsibility of the leaders. Whether it’s a fire team leader, a platoon leader, battalion commander, or the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, everyone in your "down line" is your responsibility. I suspect the top level of this concept isn’t lost on most employers, but for those without any military experience, much of the subtlety can be missed. As a result of the need to have this person ready to work 24/7, the "system" has a complete care system that completely outclasses any human resources department you might imagine in the civilian sector. The difference is there are few dedicated "human resource" professionals in the loop. Much of what is required is part and parcel of what a military leader is required to do. What this means if any service member who has had any responsibility, in combat or not, will have a broader view of what a managerial position requires. We ensured routine wellness checks were done, that teeth were cleaned, that training was scheduled and held, that administrative records, documenting professional performance were properly entered in formal records, the right gear was packed, that families were prepared legally and logistically, for time to be spent apart, that single members personal belongings were stowed safely away, that financial arrangements were completed to ensure money went to the right banks, that life insurance forms reflected the proper beneficiaries, etc, etc, etc. On a daily basis, this may not have much effect, but you can bet these people, in management, will be more in tune with HR programs, which makes for a better cared for work force, and therefore happier employees.

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