The Federal Government will Become America's Model Employer for the 21st Century.
Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People.
Find out more about Federal compensation throughout your career and around the world.
Staffing to align with your agency's mission
Review the new 2014 Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Handbook
Answering your questions about Healthcare and Insurance
Manage your retirement online.
Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
OPM’s Human Resources Solutions organization can help your agency answer this critically important question.
Developing senior leaders in the U.S. Government through Leadership for a Democratic Society, Custom Programs and Interagency Courses.
Visit this federal site to search for our regulatory notices, proposed and final rules.
See the latest tweets on our Twitter feed, like our Facebook pages, watch our YouTube videos, and page through our Flickr photos.
The content available is no longer being updated and as a result you may encounter hyperlinks which no longer function. You should also bear in mind that this content may contain text and references which are no longer applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration.
Located on a 946-acre island in the upper Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois, Rock Island Arsenal is the largest Government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the western world. Throughout the '80s and '90s, the Arsenal has made a concerted effort to demonstrate high commitment to quality and provide improved products and services to customers. Formal teaming efforts, along with the associated empowerment of employees, began with a quality circle program in 1981 and has evolved into self-directed work teams and cross-functional process action teams.
The Arsenal's Labor-Management Council has been the primary driver for the establishment of self-directed work teams. Currently, the Arsenal has chartered 74 self-directed teams. Self-directed teams share the responsibility and authority to plan, implement, and control work processes. These teams are formally trained locally and personally chartered by the Commander. The Arsenal established self-directed teams in response to several National Performance Review directives. The resulting organizational structure is streamlined from six layers of management down to three across all offices.
The Arsenal also uses process action teams, which are informal groups of employees, generally across functional lines, that are formed to address specific improvement opportunities. These groups have improved a wide range of processes to include the contracting system, the welding capabilities, and the employee welfare system.
The development and recognition of employees serve as the springboard for all improvement initiatives. HEARTS, an acronym for Honesty, Ethics, Accountability, Respect, Trust, and Support, is a team-building and change management course designed to teach mutually dependent interactions. Teams learn how to interact by doing physical tasks (climbing poles, walking high-wires, scaling walls, etc.), which take employees outside their "comfort zone" and reinforce the value of teamwork. Over 1,500 employees have completed Phase I of the training.
To support its teams, the Arsenal has designed an awards program that effectively balances team and individual recognition, and takes advantage of the benefits of honorary as well as monetary awards. As a result, along with the traditional monetary awards normally available to Federal employees, the Arsenal's recognition program includes team, facilitator, and peer recognition. Employees and supervisors can make award nominations and several awards include direct presentations by the Commander. Especially noteworthy is the Commander's Quality Excellence Award, a quarterly award presented by the Commander to an individual or team for outstanding customer service or process improvement. Other awards include the Commendation for Environmental Achievement and the Commander's Award for Community Service.
Part of its employee involvement strategy includes creating an environment filled with open exchanges of information. The Arsenal's local area network contains numerous bulletin boards of interest to all employees. A number of newsletters keep employees informed of such things as new procedures or services, new improvement initiatives, and personal or team accomplishments. Town-hall meetings, closed circuit television broadcasts, and regular team meetings also are used.
The Arsenal has learned that improving quality and customer service does not happen overnight and that improvement takes time, education and experience, perseverance and dedication, and a willingness to take risks. It also takes the efforts of the entire workforce from top management to the line worker and a structured approach built on credibility and trust. Finally, people need to know the "why" before an improvement is started, they need to see the results when changes are made, and they need to celebrate the successes.
Back to Top