Federal Manager's Daily Report

In a recent MSPB survey, 86 percent of managers cite struggling with complexity of HR policies and procedures.

The 1990s vision of HR as a strategic partner with managers rather than as an enforcer of compliance with personnel rules “has yet to be realized,” the MSPB has said in a preview of results of its ongoing research into the impact of that shift.

That notably included an OPM director under President Clinton literally taking the old Federal Personnel Manual out to the trash, but the MSPB said that in its most recent survey, 86 percent of managers still cite “the complexity of HR policies and procedures as causing difficulties when solving HR issues.”


HR personnel meanwhile still “have to contend with a proliferation of new HR laws, rules, and regulations” that distract them from helping managers “make strategic decisions about how to recruit, select, develop, and manage the workforce,” a recent publication said.

The change in direction also resulted in the loss of “an extensive amount of HR expertise in agencies and OPM,” with HR staffing levels by a fifth overall and as much as two-fifths in some agencies.

Said MSPB, “When we spoke with HR staff in the field, they mentioned they do not have time for training as they are too busy with their day-to-day workload. Chief Human Capital Officers also said they have a lack of resources for training.”

Gaps Found in Training, Evaluation of Supervisors

Value of Communication Stressed for Improving Employee Performance

Federal Manager’s Handbook, 5th Ed.