Federal Manager's Daily Report

In a report finding that more federal employees want to participate in work-life balance programs but are frustrated at least in part by managerial resistance, OPM made a business case to agency management to allow and even encourage participation by their employees.

“The data presented in this report provides strong evidence of the positive association between employee use of work-life programs and high organizational performance, retention, and job satisfaction. These outcomes emphasize the value of work-life programs as strategic tools that support organizational effectiveness,” it said in summarizing results of a survey it conducted last year.

“Federal employees that use workplace flexibilities and participate in health and wellness programs are more likely to exceed performance standards and positively impact other organizational needs: Employees who telework (76%) or participate in agency wellness programs (74%) were significantly more likely to report ratings that indicate exceeding the standards on their last performance appraisal. Additionally, those who engaged in telework, work schedule flexibilities, or health and wellness programs were more likely to be satisfied with their jobs (75% to 79%) and expressed greater intentions to remain at their agencies (66% to 68%),” it said.

It recommended better training of supervisors in “understanding of agency-specific work-life programs and how work-life programs can be utilized to simultaneously meet the agency’s strategic goals while supporting employees’ work-life needs.” Similarly, it recommended more training to make managers more comfortable with having their subordinates telework, on topics including how to assess their performance.