Fedweek

OPM: Employees facing loss or substantial changes to their jobs should see the situation as an opportunity to be retrained for “higher-value” work.

OPM has issued three guides related to reskilling employees for new opportunities, a recurring theme of the administration which argues that current employees facing loss or substantial changes to their jobs should see the situation as an opportunity to be retrained for “higher-value” work.

“As technology like robotic process automation and artificial intelligence are introduced into the workplace, employees require new skills that include technical knowledge blended with social or “people” skills. Agency leaders, managers, human resources professionals, and employees can work together to prepare the workforce for new types of jobs and skills that will be needed as automation rapidly changes the way we work,” says a memo to agencies accompanying the guides.

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One of them, a “reskilling toolkit” focuses on considerations specifically for employees in working with their managers and agencies, while the others focus on strategic decisions and change management techniques for senior leaders.

The former presents reskilling from the employee perspective as a chance to change positions, learn new skills, remain engaged and even begin a new career. As agencies analyze their current and future needs for skills in their workforces, it says, employees should focus on understanding how their work contributes to the mission and determining their training and other needs to create a “career development plan.”

Possible ways to be reskilled, it says, include coaching, temporary assignments within the organization, mentoring, on the job training, rotation to a position outside the organization, job shadowing, and more. Employees should understand how their performance goals will be monitored and assessed; take the initiative to complete their career development plan; and collaborate with their supervisors to set a series of goals and track progress toward completing them, it says.

Afterward they should track the results and continue to discuss with their supervisors any needed updates to their career plan, it says.

See also, Putting Together an Effective Individual Development Plan (IDP) at ask.FEDweek.com