Most everyone who is anyone in the government's people-management trade is heading for Wild, Wonderful West Virginia this week. Subject of the 3-day Harpers Ferry retreat is "Risk Taking And Rewards," a most intriguing subject.

The Wednesday-through-Friday session is sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management.

OPM must think it vital to go to the mountaintop since it usually takes a dim view of beyond-the-beltway meetings of Washington-based federal staffers.

The invitation-only group of about 80 souls will assess the state of the government's personnel program, which OPM and the Reagan Administration believe needs a lot of work to become efficient and cost-effective. The government (that means you) will pick up most of the tab for food, lodging and transportation to the comfortable Cliffside Inn.

More than 30 top federal officials, mostly from the personnel and labor relations field, will be on hand for the talks.

Also included are nine "scholars," plus representatives of professional groups and personnel experts from the private sector. Casting supersition to the winds, OPM will send a team of 13 to the summit talks.

Although OPM is seeking a wide range of views on the important subject of managing the federal workforce's 2.6 million people, persons of the conservative persuasion (judging from the guest list) are in the majority.

Only one labor organization, the National Treasury Employes Union, will have an official observer.

By close of business Friday the conferees are supposed to come up with a list of suggestions OPM and the Congress can make on subjects such as executive pay, bonuses, rank-and-file pay, disciplinary actions and appeals processes.