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Our Director Director's Blog

Steve Shih

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Stephen Shih is Deputy Associate Director, Employee Services, Executive Resources and Employee Development at OPM. 

The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) is one of the most important tools we have in government. It provides us with a tremendous amount of data on the experiences and views of Federal employees. In 2015, more than 421,700 Federal employees from 78 different agencies completed the FEVS, voicing their perceptions of leadership practices, training and development, work-life, and opportunities for career advancement.

We listened.

OPM has been working in partnership with agency leaders across government to help them make data-driven changes that will improve employee engagement, which in turn will lead to organizational success.  We're committed to fostering conversations about the drivers of engagement identified by the FEVS, sharing effective tools and strategies developed by agencies to improve employees' experiences, and creating government-wide resources to provide all employees with access to critical data and information.  For example, OPM recently released more no cost, online courses for Federal employees -- Maximizing Employee Engagement and Introduction to Leave, Work-Life and Workplace Flexibilities as well as a portal focused on employee engagement--UnlockTalent.gov.

OPM is not the only agency taking action.  Senior leaders and managers across the Federal Government gained insights from your feedback and are implementing innovative solutions to create a culture of engagement.  Here are just a few examples:

  • The Department of State's workforce said it wanted work-life supports, so their agency's approach to engagement involves maximizing the availability and use of work-life programs.  Through strategic partnerships among senior leaders, employee affinity groups, and unions, they've achieved progressive outcomes, such as the establishment of a back-up dependent care program, new lactation rooms, and the launch of a leave bank.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) identified challenges with performance management from the FEVS results and is committed to making meaningful changes to address this area of employee concern.  One strategy NASA developed is  training for all second-level supervisors that stresses the need that performance measures are applied in the same way for all employees.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs answered its employees desire for more leadership training. The VA developed a very successful Leaders Developing Leaders program.  Since its inception, they trained 450 Senior Executive Service members and are bringing the program to many more employees.  The goal is to train 10,000-12,000 leaders.

Agencies across the Federal Government are making strides like this to build the workforce we need to serve the American people in the future.

But we know cultivating a culture of engagement is an ongoing process of listening to employees, identifying challenges, and working together to develop and implement solutions.  That's why it's critical that you participate in this year's FEVS.  We need you to tell us what's working and what still needs to be improved.

Leaders at every level from agency heads to front-line supervisors are listening. Take the survey today. Let your voice be heard.


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