Medina’s last day at the Office of Personnel Management will be Jan. 3. She is leaving to join public relations firm APCO Worldwide as a senior human resources executive.
Just a week into the job and confronted with signs of the sagging morale of the federal workforce, new Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta said she wants to take steps to make sure federal employees feel engaged in their work. Tuesday’s annual public meeting of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council focused on ways to improve employee engagement and morale. OPM released its annual Employee Viewpoint Survey last week, revealing continuing declines in federal employees’ overall job satisfaction and a sharp drop in satisfaction with their pay.
As the cybersecurity workforce gets older and closer to retirement age, the Office of Personnel Management is trying to help agencies find new talent. It’s creating a new database of cyber positions that it hopes will help agencies identify the cyber skill sets needed to meet their missions. The Obama administration has made reducing critical cyber workforce gaps one of its top “cross-agency” goals.
In an exclusive Federal News Radio survey, agency chief human capital officers said the hiring reforms instituted by the Obama administration are working. Most respondents said it now takes their agencies 46 to 100 days, on average, to hire new employees. Hiring reforms also have improved diversity at agencies and the ability to bring on more talented employees. At the same time, CHCOs said sequestration is impacting their ability to train and complete HR projects.
A new memo from Acting OPM Director Elaine Kaplan details two main objectives and four focus areas for change. OPM and OMB want to eliminate 12 HR reports and consolidate four others.
The Office of Personnel Management is doubling the number of departments to 16, taking part in data-driven reviews. The goal is to take the mounds of information available about an agency’s workforce and spot trends to help plan for the future.
Several departments are seeing the benefits from governmentwide collaboration. The interagency National Intellectual Property Coordination Center used its relationships to get the word out more quickly about counterfeit air bags that potentially could explode on impact. HR University absorbed millions of dollars in performance management training courses from an agency who on the CHCO Council.
In a hiring pool where NSF has to compete with academia and high-profile companies for staff from the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, branding is everything, particularly the brand name of NSF and the federal government.
The Office of Personnel Management is changing how it refers to the operating status of the government. Now when federal offices are closed due to weather or other emergencies, OPM will use the terminology, “Federal offices are closed. Federal employees required to work should follow their agency’s policies.”
The Office of Personnel Management wants agencies to use workplace flexibility to encourage federal workers to pursue activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — or STEM.