Retention Incentives

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Ozduke, May 26, 2008.

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  1. I've just received this e-mail and thought it may produce some sound and needless to say rather amusing suggestions if posted here. That said, taking a look at point 4 below, I wonder whether someone's beaten me to it!

    Any suggestions, sensible or otherwise will be gratefully received!


    We need your bold and innovative ideas for non-salary related conditions of service (COS) that Army could introduce to positively influence retention. Non-salary does not mean zero cost, but rather COS that Army could develop that have nothing to do with changing our soldier's pay.

    Some examples of non-salary related COS that might encourage retention are as follows:

    1 Aim: Increase Adv Trg opportunities. Method: Development of UATL posn on unit establishments matched with a dedicated fund so that Adv Trg can be conducted more readily.

    2 Aim: Reduce posting turbulence on families. Method: A version of MWD(S) that includes a Fly-in Fly-out posting option so personnel can work in a location for 21 days continuously and then be flown to their NOK location for the 7 days leave they would have accrued by working weekends.

    3 Aim: Treat deployed MWOD more equitably compared to their MWD peers. Method: Permit MWOD to elect to retain their RA so that they can maintain a home while deployed like their MWD peers.

    4 Aim: Liberalise Army's conservative grooming restrictions. Method: Change ASOD so soldiers are not forbidden to grow a beard.

    5 Aim: Increase appeal of accepting a posting away from a family's established home. Method: Sight MQ in metropolitan locations where spouses are likely to work and families prefer to live.

    Please consolidate your returns through the chain of command and send them by COB Thu 19 Jun 08.

    For widest consideration.


    Lt Col GR Own-up.
    HQ 1 DIV
  2. Forastero

    Forastero LE Moderator

    Might get a better response in here.
  3. Point 5: I can't believe a grown up can't differentiate between "site" and "sight"

    All good ideas, but it's nothing a good pay rise can't help with....

    Edited for terrible, terrible grammar... :oops:
  4. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    RAF, and only, RAF COS state that they will be quartered at entitlement whereas our guys have to take whatever DE throws at them whilst the RAF bod gets issued an automatic Non-Availability Certificate. It is written into JSP 464 Part 1.

    Surely we can do the same with a deft piece of staff work, thus ensuring that Domestic 0A is kept a bit happier when she is transplanted for the third time in two years.

    Also, I believe that the Second PUS had the brilliant idea of paying a bonus to DE Managers based on a sliding scale that is inversely proportional to the numbers of SFA unoccupied to keep rent flowing in. The upshot of which is that they now fill them up with people who have tenuous claims and there is no slack to accept those who are entitled when they have to move at short notice. This policy needs revisiting to ensure sufficient 'give' in the system or people will vote with their feet.

    A colleague has just returned form the US where, amazingly, their retention levels are far better than ours despite their appalling long tours. The reason? They are pouring money into barrack accommodation and building new quarters of a very high standard and ensuring good local amenities. Not cost negative I know, but we have to understand that 'home is where the heart is' and all that. Keep the family happy and you have a happy soldier.
  5. In fact, feck it, I'm going to have an uncharacteristic rant. :twisted:

    For the love of Christmas, can someone please cut down on the amount of administrative work we seem to have to do on a daily basis?

    I've just finished my 3 year SSC, and I'm not staying. It's the nugatory, pointless work that's slowly sapping the life out of the job.

    For Junior Officers, life is busier that that it ever was. If I'm not preparing to go to either Iraq or Afghan, I'm trying to cram in training for the guys, JOTES, MK1 (an entirely separate rant), JOTAC, trying to unravel the complex and bewildering JPA system so soldiers can actually be administered correctly (I though we had clerks for that?!) , CR's, pointless equipment care inspections on kit so old it's now unsupported by the manufacturer, so it fails.... it goes on.

    Last week, I had to write a RASP for a range that the Squadron had used the week before. Same range, no change. But the system demands a completely new RASP. Every time. Why can't there be Standing RASPs/EASPS for each sub-Unit activity, with users only required to submit nominal rolls if there's no change to the activity taking place? What is the point of repeating yourself ad nauseam, every time?

    The Unit was also visited by a Senior Officer last week. Nice enough fellow, but seemed utterly unaware of life on the ground. "Chaps....." he harrumphed. "What you young officers need to do is, if the blokes are down, grab them and go up into the hills this weekend for a spot of bonding and hillwalking...."

    Granted, when he was a YO in 1969, you could probably do that. But firstly, if I take Cpl Smith away from his wife again, she'll probably leave him. By the time I've found a qualified JSMEL, completed a Risk Assessment, gained clearance from the Brigade to actually leave the camp gates, argued with the contractor about what nugatory paperwork I should fill out for a "pay as you die" packed lunch, wrangled a minibus from a Whole Fleet Manager, found someone under the age of 31 with a D license to actually drive, it's time to start repacking kit and heading back to a Sandy Place. I can, if I wish, order the Troop out on exercise and thrash them over the hills all day in green kit, but put on a pair of Rohan walking trousers and I suddenly need to destroy a forest of paperwork to do something which is meant to be easier and more fun?! How does that work?

    The thing that really, really annoys me is that we are all old enough to remember a time before this when life was easier. You could do things without fear of being sued. You could get vehicles for training because they were in your garages, not centrally stored in the middle of nowhere. You could get your men administered by a trained military clerk, not some student on the phone at JPAC who earns £5 and hour and cares even less. I could ensure my soldiers were well fed by the Master Chef, not fekking Sodexho, who would rather see blokes starve than see profits fall. And there always used to be enough play in the system so if you needed something doing, a crate to the right person, and it would all be ok. Not any more. We're being held hostage by civilian companies and I'm fed up with fat, un-cooperative men in Sodexho jumpers, smoking rolls ups, telling me I can't train my soldiers because of some bullshit contract.

    And yet, this isn't a mythical time many decades ago. Oh no, this was as little as 4 years ago. In the name of savings, and budgets, we've sold out on what makes us work as an Army. Yes, we're replicating civilian best practice, but we're not civvies. We're soldiers, and until the budget managers realize that, you're going to lose a lot more blokes. And girls.

    And relax............. In a nutshell, less paperwork and contractors, please.
  6. Everything CheerfulSubbie said....

    ...I'm just too busy running to stand still to actually make any useful points.
  7. msr

    msr LE

    Now try going through the same rigmarole on 1 weekend and 4 Tuesday nights a month!

  8. I genuinely think we need a rethink on the “pointless admin” side of life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these Young Officers that chins off paperwork as “something clerks do”. Sure, I agree, there are some admin procedures that are necessary, nay, vital - prompt, accurate MYAs, timely CR's, and all the usual admin for soldier career management for example.

    But why, for example, have I just had to complete a RASP and RA for a DCCT? Without wanting to sound facetious, the odds of an injury are negligible, but yet the full range paperwork has to be there to keep the SASC sweet. As I said in my last post, can’t this paperwork just be done the once? And why do we have to be B Qual to operate it when there’s already a standalone course for it?

    Well, it’s because some Pamphlet Head will point out “It’s just like a real range, sir”. Of course it is. :roll: Come on, I’m one of the Playstation Generation – I can run a similar simulation on my PS3. Why are the rules preventing people from running training for soldiers at a time when we’re busier than ever? Added to that is the latest crazy rulings about needing the new “M Qual” to ensure you can conduct blank firing exercises for the lads, it’s just another pointless straw on the camels back.

    As Rommel said: “Training is the best form of welfare. It saves lives.” I know we have to be safe and accountable, but there must be a way, at the dawn of the 21st Centry, that we can make training, and the equipment to support training, smoother and more efficient for not only those of us who have to organise it, but the lads who need it.

    The Cheerful Subbie has not been very cheerful of late, and unless someone with some common sense does something soon, there will be another gapped post in my Unit and I’ll go and do something less stressful, like plaiting spunk or herding cats. :D
  9. Can it be arranged for TheCheerfulSubbie to be posted to the CGS Breifing Team immediately. He is quite correct - sod the pay rises, lets get back to basics and start behaving like an Army back in barracks with a measured approach to H&S and re employing the simple but effective systems of accounting, equipment husbandry and soldiers (& officers) welfare, plus have the flexibility to grab the opportunity to get away from barracks at short notice if the chance arises - without vectoring in 10 weeks prior notice and a pallet of A4 paper and photocopier toner.

  10. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Seconded - haven't seen such a well put rant for a good while. Any grown ups about?
  11. Or make him MA to CGS instead! :D

    Well written, TCS!

  12. Oh, you guys :oops:

    If only the grown ups listened, eh? 8O
  13. My 2p,

    How about the APC listening, not lieing and honoring those conversations that are had on the phone? That would be a good start...

    'Can I have a career break?'


    'Because I want a break from all of those things that the cheerfulsubbie discussed on arrse.' (JOKE but near the truth)

    'What do we (the APC) get out of it?

    'How about someone that stays beyond their 16 year point?'

    ' that's not good enough.'

    I say no more...T*ats

    G :?
  14. Well said Cheerful Sub. Couldn't agree more. Been complaining about this for the last 10 ( :oops: ) years and gotten nothing more than a reputation as a whinger. Cost cutting is the root cause, I think, but that's because the OJARs of Senior Offrs who cut costs are better than those who dont. We're inflicting this cr@p on ourselves, at the behest of the politicos.

    Why do we have to save receipts for every expense and every meal eaten on the road in order to make sure that the system pays you back? My experience of civvy street, in a cut-throat commercial setting, is that niff-naff like this is not tolerated as dealing with it reduces the amount of time you have for earning money for the company.

    ...and that's my point, I think. The "money earning" activity that we do for our "company" is work on ops, and training for ops. Any other activity is actually a reflection of inefficiency.

    ...and back on to thread. Why is it, you think, that the CoC is so concerned with avoiding the use of pay as a retention incentive? I don't know what the situation is like with the Inf, but those of us in the various Corps with specialist roles / skills are reaching (and in some cases, have reached), breaking point. I think that the RN and Crabs each have 24 - odd trades that attract specialist pay. We have 5. We don't need to raise the pay levels to civilian equivalence - that would probably double the salary payout of the specialist trades in R.Sigs, RE, REME etc - but at least recognise the fact that they should be paid more for having a rare skill / qual?

    Another suggestion. Why not have a conscious effort by the CoC to reduce the amount of nights out of bed that troops have to deal with between tours? One of my soldiers has over 750 days LSA in his last rolling period - and he's somehow still married. WTF is that all about?
    A fairly significant chunk of this is Pre-dep trg, but there's also OTXs, Adv Trg (No Col, the blokes DO NOT LIKE walking up hills carrying heavy backpacks as a recreational activity - it kind of reminds them of tabbing) and career courses.

    Good grief, actually had a bit of a rant there! Nurse!?! Where's my valium?
  15. msr

    msr LE

    Quite happy spending 1/2 Tuesday night per month at the Army's expense filling in my claims - which always amount to less than the cost of paying me to fill them in.

    And as for having to do a 50 mile round trip and half a day's pay to exchange an item of kit worth less than a fiver....