The Biden administration has announced implementation plans for two of the three main elements of its President’s Management Agenda, which was announced last fall in what the administration termed a vision document with more specifics to come later.
The newest announcement lists strategies, lead officials and measures of success under the general areas of “strengthening and empowering the federal workforce” and “delivering excellent, equitable, and secure federal services and customer experience.” A similar step is yet to come regarding the third, “managing the business of government.”
“Federal agencies must attract, hire, develop, and empower talented individuals who are well suited and well prepared to face the challenges the government faces, both in the near and long term. Agencies must also use what they have learned about the resilience and adaptability of the federal workforce to make the federal government an ideal, modern, and forward-thinking employer,” says a posting on performance.gov.
It identifies “priority level success metrics” in that area as to (in its words):
• Increase agency Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) Employee Engagement Index (EEI) scores by narrowing agency-identified gaps in EEI by employee group or organizational unit by 20%.
• Agencies will select an EEI subfactor (Supervisor, Leaders Lead, Intrinsic Work Experience) or a minimum of three FEVS questions as topics to target for action and quantifiably improve results on these factors/questions. Subfactor/questions should be chosen due to overall low score, gaps across employee groups and organizational unit, or some other mission- or performance-driven factor.
• Increase the percentage of hiring manager satisfaction with the hiring process.
• This survey currently is going through improvements to improve data collection and availability. A baseline and target will be assessed later this year once those improvements have time to go into effect.
• Increase the percentage of agencies meeting projected mission-critical occupation (MCO) hiring and staffing targets.1
• Agencies will be asked to create robust projections for selected MCOs and report progress towards filling those goals in order to highlight areas of needed support to compete for talent.
• Agencies will use their 2022 FEVS results, in addition to other DEIA agency assessments, to make progress towards the objectives of their agency DEIA strategic plans.
The posting also describes more granular metrics for each of the four sub-categories under the general workforce topic, involving hiring, employee empowerment, realigning the work experience to take into account lessons learned in the pandemic and national trends, and strengthening the workforce’s capabilities to meet future demands.
An update to the President’s Management Agenda adding information about planned strategies and measures of success identifies one of the three main elements of that agenda, involving customer service to the public, as both a challenge and an opportunity.
“Federal services have not always been designed with the public’s needs and priorities in mind, nor have these services always kept up with these needs. Poorly designed, out of date, and inequitable government services are a cost to our nation . . . the federal government must deliver a simple, seamless, and secure customer experience, on par with or more effective than leading consumer experiences,” says a posting on performance.gov.
“Every interaction between the government and the public is an opportunity to deliver the services people expect and deserve. Whether during a pivotal life experience such as retiring, or a routine interaction to renew a passport, the government must build our understanding of our customers and involve them – the people we serve – to improve benefits, services, and programs and enable us to deliver for all Americans,” it says.
It identifies priorities as (in its words):
• Move from last into top 10 on Forrester industry ranking. (Note: the Forrester Customer Experience Index rates industries’ customer experiences using a national survey.)
• Focus on designated high impact service providers services (near term). (Note: those are agency functions that serve the largest percentage of people, conduct the greatest volume of transactions annually, and have the greatest impact on the lives individuals.)
• Focus on designated cross-agency life experiences (long term).
• Establish government-wide service level agreement targets for customer contact centers (forthcoming).
• Achieve 75 percent or higher post-transaction trust in high impact service providers
The posting also identifies more detailed metrics for sub-goals involving reducing customer burden, addressing inequities, and streamlining processes; service delivery for key life experiences that cuts across agencies; and shared products, services, and standards for high impact service providers.