Issue Briefs

Image: Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock.com

Following are tip sheets from OPM to employees, supervisors and agency leadership for working in a hybrid onsite/offsite environment.


Employees

ADVERTISEMENT

Planning

Be transparent and realistic in expectations with your supervisor

Ensure you clarify with your supervisor your job’s expectations and highlight the strategic alignment between it and the organizational mission

Align individual goals with departmental/team objectives

Make sure goals are attainable

Monitoring

Establish an open line of communication with your manager through regular one-on-one meetings, instant messaging channels, and virtual team meetings

ADVERTISEMENT

Compose a list of accomplishment narratives for each milestone achieved during the rating period

Meet with your supervisor regularly to discuss individual goals

Rating

Utilize video conferencing using backgrounds/filters to prevent distraction and ensure you are in a private environment

Be ready for end of year discussion by preparing accomplishment statements and questions for how you can improve and develop in focus areas

View rating process as a growth opportunity

Ensure all objectives and goals are accomplished within the rating period

ADVERTISEMENT

Rewards and Recognition

As we all feel valued differently, express to your supervisor the kind of rewards and recognition you appreciate

Track and share your accomplishments with your supervisor (Note recognition-worthy successes)

Volunteer to lead challenging/ complex projects of high visibility

Organize Employee Appreciation Events to boost self-esteem and morale

Learning and Development

Keep your mind sharp, your desire for personal growth strong, and your career opportunities open through online learning and training programs

Seek out free training and resources from other Federal agencies, job specific associations, and local universities or partners

Request a mentor and consult with your supervisor about applying for detail positions or rotational programs to link development with personal goals

Employee Health

ADVERTISEMENT

Establish intentional breaks — Set aside time to get away, exercise, or go outdoors; Stand up and stretch

Engage in virtual chat groups and join virtual communities that align to your special interests and/or areas of concern

Take advantage of employee assistance, mental health or counseling support programs

Supervisors

ADVERTISEMENT

Planning

Clarify standards’ intent and meaning; Individual perspectives can vary in their interpretation of what constitutes an exceeds, meets, and below performance

Standardize expected results where possible; This helps increase the equity of the performance standards among employees in similar positions

Enable autonomy and growth by clearly highlighting for employees the strategic alignment between their work and the organizational mission

Monitoring

Demonstrate inclusion to employees through thoughtfully providing performance feedback using inclusive language

Engage employees through multiple informal and formal feedback sessions throughout the year

Check your assumptions (especially if your employee has been working remotely) on why the employee has or hasn’t been performing; Realize that there are unseen circumstances and events that may be impacting performance

ADVERTISEMENT

Rating

Hold performance evaluation meetings in a neutral environment free of noise and distraction (virtual and physical environments)

Begin with positive feedback; Constructive feedback is more widely accepted if prefaced with positive feedback

Be cognizant of your own rater bias; Evaluate performance based on measurable results

Rewards and Recognition

Discover the ways your employees want to receive recognition and meet that need (some do not want publicity)

Recognize employee contributions tied to organizational values (not just productivity and performance)

Celebrate individual and team success throughout the year; People want to feel appreciated and know they are contributing to the success of the organization

Learning and Development

Implement routine check-ins for 2-way and 360-degree developmental updates; Should be bi-directional and encourage constant development

ADVERTISEMENT

Offer and encourage online learning and free training programs from other Federal agencies, job-specific associations, and local universities or partners

Establish or promote mentoring, coaching, and detail opportunities to link employee goals and development

Open Communication

Enable teamwork/collaboration and team check-ins by scheduling 5-10 min breaks during meetings for “hallway” chats among employees

Utilize technology such as video conferencing to help maintain an “in- person” connection

Be deliberate and consistent in communication methods and channels; People need to feel they are accepted as part of the group

Leadership

Self Management

Properly manage your time to include planning, work, and preparation for organized and productive meetings

Demonstrating a healthy work/life balance (e.g. not scheduling meetings during lunch, using annual leave, etc.) will empower employees to emulate your positive work/life behaviors — leading to higher productivity and increased employee wellbeing

ADVERTISEMENT

Communication

Host Q&A sessions at the end of Town Hall meetings or through agency intranet/forum pages

Encourage Office Hours for management and employees to address concerns

Be open and receptive to feedback from those trusted partners within your organization

Delegation and Autonomy

Trust is garnered when senior leaders “widen their circle of decision makers;” Delegate downward and collaborate with others to allow for natural professional development and increase your capacity to handle challenges

Clearly state expectations, highlighting strategic alignment, then allow for autonomy to garner bidirectional trust

People Focused Management

Get away from the mindset of management by observation; Focus on the what and how of work achievement instead of where or when

Allow for collaboration and encourage cross training for employee development and natural succession planning

Do analysis to ensure all employees are fairly evaluated, receive timely feedback, have access to the same opportunities, and have all resources required for success

Use Resources and Train

Leverage technology to fill gaps in communication and collaboration

Seek out free training and resources from other Federal agencies, job-specific associations (SHRM, CFO Councils, Leadership Council), and local universities or partners

Utilize internal SMEs to host agency-wide training sessions to increase knowledge and accountability for managers and employees

Develop Agile Culture and Hybrid Workplace

Plan your transition to a hybrid office (tech-ready to enable meetings that smoothly join in-office and remote workers)

Update policies/practices/training to incorporate flexibilities (Telework, Remote Management, IT Systems, Security)

Develop strategies to maintain resiliency for future uncertainty and a changing workplace

Stopgap Budget Bill, Postal Bill Ready for Final Votes

Report Outlines Plans for Transition to Postal-Only Health Insurance Program

Ban on Vaccine Mandate Stays in Effect, at Least for Now

Injunction of Mandate Puts Agency ‘Reentry’ in Question, Says WH

EEOC Lauds Agencies on Age Discrimination Record but Raises Concerns on Pay Differences

Report Links Perceptions of Fairness to Rates of Age Bias Complaint

2023 Retiree COLA Count Already Near 3 Percent

VA Rolls Out Employee Incentives to Fight Turnover

See also,

Benefits Upon Passing of a Federal Employee or Retiree

The Federal Retirement Deal (It’s Good)

Annual Leave, One of Top Benefits to Federal Employees

2022 Federal Employees Handbook