AFRL Empowering Workforce with Human Capital Strategy

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- At the Air Force Research Laboratory, the foundation of our success is firmly rooted with our people.  Our people are continually challenged to create ideas, innovate processes, push boundaries, and produce results - all in an effort to develop the revolutionary, relevant, and responsive technologies that our Airmen require.

AFRL is at the center of the Air Force's technology innovation, and we are fully committed to ensuring that these needs are met.  The demand for a talented and dedicated AFRL workforce continues to grow.  Our people must have the 21th century knowledge, education, and skillsets to research and develop the advanced warfighting technologies our Air Force requires.

To help us meet this workforce requirement, AFRL published its Human Capital Strategy 2015.  AFRL recognizes the importance of integrating our strategic goals with the developmental and motivational needs of our workforce.  The Human Capital Strategy 2015 is essentially a set of values and goals that promotes AFRL as a learning organization made up of a knowledge workforce.  This means our team members are paid to think critically, be creative, and solve unconventional problems, challenging them to be the best that they can be, while encouraging flexibility and professional advancement.

The laboratory's human capital strategic values are simple, yet profound and essential.  Innovation is our first value.  AFRL is willing to explore new ways to approach or solve a problem, to question existing processes and to revisit traditional approaches to evolving problems.

Our second value is continuous learning.  AFRL is willing and expected to learn from both success and failure, revisit processes, procedures, and policies as needed, and continually grow, learn, evolve, and hone our skills.

Smart risk taking is our third value.  AFRL is willing to explore new approaches and accept smart risk in pursuit of new knowledge, and we recognize that taking risks is important to remain innovative, technically agile, and superior.

Our fourth value is continual pursuit of excellence.  At AFRL we recognize that every organization and person can and should continue to pursue new knowledge and sharpen their skills so that we can maintain levels of world class research and support to achieve our mission, and we recognize that this is often born out of recognition of potential in both developing individuals and ideas.

Our final value is diversity.  AFRL understands that innovation stems from fresh perspectives, technical and intellectual "refresh," and sometimes passionate debate to challenge underlying assumptions.  We value and pursue the thought diversity that these various perspectives bring to AFRL in our pursuit of innovation.

These values serve as the basis for AFRL's Human Capital Strategic Goals.  Key to consistently remaining innovative and world class is motivating and incentivizing our knowledge workforce.  Our goals for achieving this are comprised of the three intrinsic motivational pillars of Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Autonomy within AFRL refers to creating and facilitating flexibility within the work environment to enable the workforce to act and work independently to achieve mission success.  This may include opportunities to take advantage of broadening or long term special projects outside traditional work requirements, to lead research or functional project teams, or the use of flexible work arrangements.

Mastery within AFRL allows and expects employees to maintain a mastery over their given area of expertise.  This may be gained through traditional training experiences, as well as attendance and presentations at conferences, broadening opportunities, just-in-time or novel ways of sharpening existing skillsets, and exploring new ways to learn and apply new and existing technical and functional skillsets.

And finally, purpose within AFRL refers to our compelling mission in service of the warfighter and is inextricably linked to our ability to succinctly attribute an individual's contribution to the advancement of this mission.  This goes beyond the notion of knowing the Laboratory or Air Force mission to understanding how each person's role helps shape the success of Air Force and AFRL priorities, specific products, and technologies.

We are the Airmen's laboratory.  AFRL's workforce provides the technical foundation for Air Force capabilities.  Thanks to the talent, expertise, dedicated effort, and high performance of our people, AFRL is truly a national asset as a defense research and development laboratory.  As an organization, we value innovation, continuous learning, smart risk taking, the continual pursuit of excellence, and diversity of thought of the warfighter. 

The AFRL Human Capital Strategy 2015 will allow us to maintain our momentum by ensuring our future workforce is prepared to tackle challenges with creativity, independence, and a sense of service and purpose.