Topsarge Business Solutions facilitated the U.S. Army Enlisted Leader Research Group‘s first virtual workshop on November 5, 2020. This workshop was an enormous success bringing together six Behavioral Scientists from the Research Community, eight Subject Matter Experts (SME) and fourteen Key Positional Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) from across Our Army. Collectively this team is referred to as the Enlisted Leader Research Group Alliance. A triad of organizations working together for the overall success for Our Army.
1. The Workshop
The purpose of the virtual ELRG workshop was to provide an opportunity for the Behavioral Scientists to present current projects to the Key Positional NCO’s and SME’s within the Alliance. Dr. Michele Zyblut, Director of Army Research Institute (ARI) opened the workshop with her comments about the importance of ARI and the development of the Alliance. Dr. Zyblut’s comments were followed by an update to the Alliance by some of the Fort Hood Research Teams ongoing research.
The research projects presented included Top Leader Challenges for Squad Leaders by Dr. Jeffrey Fite and Laura Schmitz. This project is a summary of the most common leadership challenges reported by squad leaders who participated in “Not in My Squad” workshops.
Dr. April Sanders presented The Leader Notes Tool, a research product designed to improve the note-taking skills of junior NCOs as well as a providing a sneak peek on a project still working in the development stage, Write like a Leader.
2. The Purpose
This research project will enhance the leader notes tool, such as additional Army document examples, links to Army doctrine, fillable forms, online feedback, reviewer feedback options, and Army specific dictionary. A summative evaluation will be conducted to examine the usability of the tool and if it assists NCOs with improving written communication skills on the job. Training References Guide for Squad and Team Leaders was presented by Dr. Larry Golba. This research product is designed to equip junior NCOs with a practical understanding of basic principles of human learning, memory, and motivation.
3. The Mission
The workshop included a Senior Leader Roundtable to share information on current issues related to NCO Professional Development and how the ELRG can address those issues through research. The Alliance was happy to see so many Senior Enlisted Leaders from around the force find time to join the workshop and provide input and guidance to help develop training, training tools, and job aids that will be immediately useful to NCOs across the force.
The Alliance plans on continuing to meet periodically through these virtual workshops in order to continue to give updates to the field. Future dates will be announced when they become available.