wfedstaff | June 3, 2015 6:49 am
By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
The Navy today isn’t your father’s Navy, and the workforce aren’t the sailors of yesteryear either.
“I think there’s a realization that unlike many civilian organizations,” said Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Mark Ferguson, “we have to recruit someone at the beginning at very young and keep them for a career. We grow our own leadership and talent from within.”
So the Navy has been focusing on what options are available as recruitment and retention tools. The answer, Ferguson told Federal News Radio, has been finding the right balance of work-life programs.
Insight by Infor: This exclusive e-book highlights how the military services and defense agencies are rethinking their approach to managing their supply chains and how data is driving those decisions.
This new generation that’s entering the workforce has a great emphasis on family and we started these programs with a simple question of “how do we make it from Navy or family to Navy and family,” and by asking that simple question, it opens up to what’s possible that we can innovate.
Ferguson said some of those programs include:
Ferguson said more than 50% of enlisted women are now starting their careers with technical sea-going ratings and that women officers are now in training to serve on submarines.
So we’re looking at their retention and we’ve seen in women that are on ships about a six to eight percent jump in their retention rates, we see more women going into the technical fields, but we’re also seeing in our family-spouse survey data, for example in just the last four years, the number of spouses who have said, they want their, as a junior enlisted, their husband to stay for a career has jumped from in the low of 20% up to over 60% and these programs play a large part in that where people can start to balance their family and their professional work.
Another indication that the Navy may have found just the right mix for improving productivity and keeping workers happy is having been awarded the 2010 Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award from the Alliance for Work Life Progress. Past winners include Pepsi Bottling Group, Verizon Wireless and IBM.
The Navy Times reports the department was “ranked 17th in the Top 125 Organizations That Excel at Employee Development in February, and receiving the coveted Optimas Award in March. That award recognizes the Navy as the nation’s leader in human resources management – specifically recognizing the Navy’s innovative initiatives and excellence in the recruiting, development and care of its people.”