The OCFO also worked to develop a first-class recruiting, hiring and retention program, including 30-day milestones, peer and senior mentoring, and regular check-ins with senior leaders. Senior leaders also focused on improving customer service to internal and external partners, expecting that these efforts will lead to real-time performance and results.
Department of Transportation (DOT): In a year when most agencies lost ground, DOT registered the biggest improvement among large agencies — a distinction it also earned in 2010. According to agency employees, success starts at the top with Secretary Ray LaHood making it a personal mission to use the ratings as a tool for improving employee engagement. DOT’s senior leaders regularly host listening sessions with employees, implement ideas as appropriate and communicate the results to employees.
I’ll give you one example: scheduling conference rooms. It sounds silly, but employees were frustrated by the time wasted finding available rooms. Agency leaders took the feedback seriously and developed a new online scheduling process. Of course, it takes more than just putting out fires. DOT is focused on the long term as well, training all first-line supervisors in the core competencies of effective leadership. Significantly, it also includes in all career and political executive performance plans a standard that requires the executives to demonstrate specific actions they have taken to engage with their employees.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA, which ranks 47th out of 292 agency subcomponents and which saw a 2.6 point increase in its score in 2012, is instituting a number of human-capital initiatives to improve the workplace. In addition to a major restructuring of its Office of Human Resources, FDA adopted the Office of Personnel Management’s five-tier performance appraisal system for senior executives to allow for greater distinction in performance among executives. A continued focus will be on improving executive competencies, including leadership skills and the ability to develop a well-trained and high-performing workforce. This is part of an overall effort to focus on targeted efforts to improve FDA workforce management.
Of course, this is just a starting point for uncovering the great stories about agencies and leaders who are working to engage their employees and improve government performance. If you have other examples, please share your ideas in the comment section below. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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