• Garrison supports readiness through customer service

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  • Bob Kerr | Editor
    Fort Leavenworth’s new Garrison Commander Col. Marne Sutten met with Garrison employees in two all-hands meetings Aug. 11 to discuss organizational vision and goals, as well as to sign a leadership pledge and pledge to customers as part of Installation Management Command’s Service Culture Initiative.
    Sutten, who took command June 20, outlined the Garrison’s three core competencies — creating a safe and family-friendly atmosphere, supporting the learning environment and preserving the beauty of the historical installation.
    “The family piece is really important,” she said. “Not only are we the best hometown in the Army, but we are all a family and we all take care of each other.”
    Sutten reminded the Garrison employees that the chief of staff of the Army’s No. 1 priority is readiness.
    “We impact readiness by training individuals and taking care of individuals, making sure that they have safe homes and good child development (opportunities),” she said. “I’m amazed every day by what some of you accomplish on the base, and some will never recognize how hard you work, but you facilitate readiness.
    “We’re a team here and that means we take care of each other — we take care of our employees and we take care of our supervisors along with taking care of the families and the retirees in the community,” Sutten said.
    Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Fuller presented an overview of recent Interactive Customer Evaluation comments and trends.
    “The ICE program is very, very important,” Fuller said. “Without the ICE program we would not have the communication with the community that we have.”
    Sutten then discussed IMCOM’s Service Culture Initiative.
    “The customer service culture already exists and they’re putting a new name on it,” Sutten said. “It’s incumbent on us to remember we’re in the customer service business. IMCOM is looking at it across the board, so understand that they are trying to standardize how we do customer service across all the installations.”
    Sutten said the initiative does include some customer service training that was been borrowed from elsewhere in the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
    “It’s a way they can label this (customer service training) and standardize it across the 75 installations,” she said.
    Sutten discussed how the expectations of customers remain high, while the Garrison has seen a reduced budget, reduced manpower and fewer resources.
    She said the transformation begins with “taking a hard look at what we should be doing and what we’re able to do based on those things.”
    Page 2 of 2 - “I need you to look internally to your sections and take a hard look to see if we are wasting time doing things that we shouldn’t be doing and the customer support piece that we should be doing and try to make that balance,” she said. “Things are changing and they’re going to continue.”
    Sutten outlined the IMCOM initiative, which begins with on-boarding new employees, and continues with leadership engagement, training, communi- cation and recognition, giving employees a sense of belonging and leading to an improved organizational culture.
    Sutten and Fuller were then joined by Jack Walker, deputy to the Garrison commander, to sign a leadership pledge to improve organizational culture and a pledge to customers.
    “Our pledge — and the three of us are representing you in this — this is our pledge to the community and how we are going to conduct business and continue to take care of people, because I know we are already doing that,” Sutten said.
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