Fedweek

OPM has started issuing a series of documents designed to encourage agencies to offer work-life balance programs, saying such programs “benefit our federal workforce and positively impact recruitment, retention and organizational performance,” according to a memo.

OPM’s initiative—in conjunction with National Work and Family Month—comes in the wake of moves by several major agencies to tighten eligibility for two such programs, telework and alternative working schedules.

“Strong evidence continues to emerge that demonstrate the use of federal work-life programs are a strategic business practice that increases employee performance, engagement, and satisfaction,” OPM said, citing results released earlier this year of a federal workplace survey conducted last year.

OPM started with release of a toolkit for new and current managers containing OPM’s work-life learning resources, management tools, and best practices. Managers can use it to “learn how to improve employee engagement and performance by supporting employee needs,” OPM said. Included is a “myth-buster” document to help agencies “understand how supporting the well-being of employees can positively impact the work environment.”

OPM also is issuing an infographic stressing support for employees with family and dependent care responsibilities and the value of employee assistance programs and health/wellness programs; and a paper containing “key issues, insights, and implications for practice” related to telework.

“Agency leaders and work-life coordinators can leverage the information to design strategic work-life programs that meet the needs of their workforce and improve employee performance, engagement, and recruitment,” it said.

Individual employees should contact their agency’s work-life coordinators for information about programs available to them, it added.