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    It’s the Friday before a holiday weekend. As I walk through the halls, there’s a feeling of excitement as OPM employees discuss their plans, travels, shopping sales and long-weekend events. I feel it too, but as I pass a photo in the hallway on the 5th floor, a different feeling sets in. The photo is of Arlington National Cemetery in the fall. I look at the orange and yellow leaves scattered around the simple white marble headstones and I realize I’m no longer feeling the excitement in the air but instead a combination of melancholy and pride.

    Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, grandparents and friends who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom are lying in their final resting place only a few miles away from OPM in Arlington National Cemetery. Several days from now we will honor the sacrifice made by many service members through the observance of Memorial Day. This day gives us the opportunity to honor and pay tribute to all the men and women who gave their lives in the defense of our Nation and way of life, enabling us to enjoy the freedoms we all know as Americans.

    Memorial Day originated from the practice of decorating soldiers’ graves during and after the Civil War. Even today, people volunteer to place American flags or flowers on the headstones of the fallen at National Cemeteries across the country during this day. I invite you to attend one of the many Memorial Day ceremonies held across our Nation to thank our fallen heroes and their families for their sacrifice. It is because of them that we have freedom in America and freedom across the world.

    In addition, I wanted to take this time to remind those of you who will be celebrating with family and friends to stay safe. Be aware of your surroundings while enjoying public activities. Wear your seatbelt while traveling, excessive speed, driver fatigue, and driving under the influence are the predominant causes of accidents on our roads and highways, especially during peak travel periods. Don’t leave children unsupervised around barbeque grills or cookout equipment. And finally, be sure to encourage prudent safety measures, especially for water related activities such as swimming, wading, bathing, boating and diving.

    We can make this day more valuable and memorable by keeping all of ourselves and our family member safe from needless accidents or injuries over this long holiday weekend.

    Have a safe and happy Memorial Day, and don’t forget to remember why we really have the day off.



    On Wednesday, May 23rd, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will celebrate the 15 Year anniversary of the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council. This event will hail the Council’s accomplishments and renew our commitment to the federal workforce and the American people to create human capital management strategies that attract, develop and retain a high performing, engaged and diverse federal workforce.

    I am proud of the many accomplishments of the CHCO Council, especially having served on the Council in its early years. The Council has been instrumental in the success of many projects around the government. While it is not possible to quantify and list the impact of the CHCO Council on the Human Capital community, below are some examples of the great work the CHCO Council has accomplished through the years:

    • Natural Disasters: From Hurricane Katrina to Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey and the wildfires in California, the CHCO Council members have supported the Federal Government, the affected communities, and provided policy advice to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The Council has coordinated government-wide response activities during natural disasters and worked with the OPM to establish special authorities to assist in the response and recovery efforts.
    • Veterans Hiring: Under direction from the Director of OPM, the Council on Veterans Employment in conjunction with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council formed a working group to examine veterans’ preference in the Federal Government and submit recommendations to the Director of OPM on improving the ability of veterans’ preference laws to meet the needs of the new generation of veterans and hiring managers. Based on a review of Federal veterans’ preference statutes and regulations, the members of the working group developed 28 recommendations during the course of this study.
    • Performance Management: The CHCO working group on performance management, created in April 2011, was asked to provide general and broad recommendations for a potential government-wide model for performance management. The work group met weekly through the summer and developed a comprehensive set of recommendations that resulted in a new model for employee performance called GEAR. GEAR stands for Goals, Engagement, Accountability and Results and stresses that the responsibility for performance management improvements rests with everyone in government.
    • Feds Feed Families (FFF): In 2009, the Council responded to the Serve America Act and formed a partnership titled the FFF food drive campaign. Through this campaign food is collected from Federal employees across the country for local families in need. Today, the CHCO Council supports FFF with the leadership of USDA.

    Job well done, and I look forward to seeing all of the future initiatives of the CHCO Council. Happy 15 years!



    UnlockTalent has been around for a few years, but recent updates to the site have made this tool more helpful than ever to Federal agencies in assessing their organizational health and utilizing data from multiple sources to gain insight into their workforce. UnlockTalent is free to use and requires only a simple registration process to gain access to the wealth of data available to users. Data from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) are used to populate the features of the site, and the UnlockTalent team plans to incorporate additional data sources in the future to continue to enhance the tool.

    New Feature Now Available! One recently updated feature of the site is the Agency Indicators page. Until recently, registered users of UnlockTalent were able to view this page at only the governmentwide level, but the feature has now been expanded to the agency level. The Agency Indicators page allows users to gain more insight into their agency’s workforce through data in order to create the most effective work environment by forecasting the short- and long-term needs to enhance decision-making and improve the overall health of the organization.  The page is organized into five sections consistent with the new Human Capital Framework (HCF): workforce demographics, talent management, performance management, strategic planning and alignment, and evaluation. This new feature makes UnlockTalent a very helpful resource for leaders and human capital professionals across government in evaluating the new Human Capital Framework within their own agencies.  I invite you to explore the new features on the UnlockTalent website, today!

     


    Invest in your agency today so your agency can better invest in you!  Let your voice be heard by participating in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).  Beginning today the FEVS will be emailed on a rolling basis by agency to every eligible Federal employee (permanently employed, non-political, non-seasonal, full- or part-time employees, onboard with their agency as of October 2017).  That’s over 1.5 million voices providing leadership feedback about what works and what needs to be improved in your workplace. 

    We understand that you are busy working to achieve important agency goals and priorities and may find it hard to set aside time to respond in your busy day.  You might even wonder about the value of your participation.  Will your responses really be heard and used?  Yes they will. As an employee survey, the FEVS gives you a way to share your perspective about workplace conditions with decision-makers in your agency.  All levels of leadership have access to FEVS reports and are urged to use results to inform decisions for agency development.  FEVS results also are used by policy agencies to develop, evaluate, and shape governmentwide workplace policy and programs in support of the Federal workforce.  As you can see, your input today can have lasting benefits for your own agency, as well as the performance of the entire Executive Branch.

    New this year, when you respond to the FEVS, you also will have the opportunity to inspire the future by participating in a follow-on pilot survey.  The pilot is intended to help us to modernize the FEVS by testing new topics and improvements to the FEVS. Our goal is to ensure delivery of the best, most responsive information possible to your leadership and Federal decision makers.  You will receive a pilot survey shortly after you click submit on the FEVS.  Please take time to respond to that survey too.   

    Through participation in the FEVS and the pilot, you have an opportunity to shape and improve your Federal workplace now and in years to come.  Your time investment will ensure that your agency can deliver on the promise of unparalleled service to the American people. 

    For last year’s results, visit the FEVS website.


    Invest in your agency today so your agency can better invest in you!  Let your voice be heard by participating in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).  Beginning today the FEVS will be emailed on a rolling basis by agency to every eligible Federal employee (permanently employed, non-political, non-seasonal, full- or part-time employees, onboard with their agency as of October 2017).  That’s over 1.5 million voices providing leadership feedback about what works and what needs to be improved in your workplace. 

    We understand that you are busy working to achieve important agency goals and priorities and may find it hard to set aside time to respond in your busy day.  You might even wonder about the value of your participation.  Will your responses really be heard and used?  Yes they will. As an employee survey, the FEVS gives you a way to share your perspective about workplace conditions with decision-makers in your agency.  All levels of leadership have access to FEVS reports and are urged to use results to inform decisions for agency development.  FEVS results also are used by policy agencies to develop, evaluate, and shape governmentwide workplace policy and programs in support of the Federal workforce.  As you can see, your input today can have lasting benefits for your own agency, as well as the performance of the entire Executive Branch.

    New this year, when you respond to the FEVS, you also will have the opportunity to inspire the future by participating in a follow-on pilot survey.  The pilot is intended to help us to modernize the FEVS by testing new topics and improvements to the FEVS. Our goal is to ensure delivery of the best, most responsive information possible to your leadership and Federal decision makers.  You will receive a pilot survey shortly after you click submit on the FEVS.  Please take time to respond to that survey too.   

    Through participation in the FEVS and the pilot, you have an opportunity to shape and improve your Federal workplace now and in years to come.  Your time investment will ensure that your agency can deliver on the promise of unparalleled service to the American people. 

    For last year’s results, visit the FEVS website.


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