Federal Manager's Daily Report

The most recent report on compliance with the President’s Management Agenda cites progress in improving federal employee engagement, shortly after the annual Best Places to Work rankings showed slippage in engagement in many agencies.

The agenda calls on all agencies to identify the bottom 20 percent of their work units in the employee engagement index on the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey–which is a main basis of the best places to work report, by the Partnership for Public Service–and target a 20 percent improvement in their scores.

The update says that since September, “OPM issued guidance instructing agencies to identify work units targeted for employee engagement improvement and to provide a brief overview of the approach the agency and each component/bureau will take …  In January, agencies will submit a brief overview of their planned approach to widely distribute survey results. Agencies are responding with transformative approaches to employee engagement, and shared successful practices at a forum on October 30th.”

Agency-specific initiatives that the update highlighted included:

The TSA’s “local action planning” process, which includes site visits and action plan development and implementation support focused on the lowest scoring organizations.

Labor’s issuance of guidance for managers on engaging in performance discussions best practices for maximizing performance and engagement. “By promoting shared responsibility for these processes and including unions and affinity groups in addition to employees and supervisors, DoL created stronger relationships across the agency that are improving employee engagement, communication and accountability.”

Development by HHS of a survey analysis tool, which is available for government-wide use and its creation of a “culture of continuous improvement by rating managers in their performance appraisals on their ability to develop the workforce.”

HUD’s creation of a tool detailing the timeline and steps managers need to follow in line with HUD policies and collective bargaining agreements in performance management. “The tool and training helped set expectations and accountability for managers and employees dealing with performance-based actions agency-wide.”

The VA’s use of an interactive dashboard of survey results, “which helped leaders translate their results to improvement plans across all levels of employees, and provided a consistent approach for aligning improvement actions in VA.”