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PILLAR Award Recipients Honored at the Strategic Compensation Conference

PILLAR Award Recipients Honored at the Strategic Compensation Conference

OPM Director Kay Coles James presented the second annual OPM Director's PILLAR Award at the 2001 Strategic Compensation Conference on August 28, 2001. This award stands for Performance, Incentives, and Leadership Linked to Achieve Results and showcases agencies that use effective employee performance management to support organizational goals. The two award recipients were the Program for Empowered Performance established in the Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM), Division of Compliance Management, and the Visuals for Veterans Program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Los Angeles Regional Office. Representatives of both organizations gave conference participants brief presentations highlighting their respective programs.

Program for Empowered Performance

Jim Krawchyk, Chief of the Division of Compliance Management, OSM, shared the excellent organizational results that the Program for Empowered Performance (PEP) achieved. PEP is an employee performance program within OSM that bases employee performance expectations, appraisals, and recognition on strategic organizational goals that are cascaded down through the organization to the employee level. The program involves employees in the development of their individual performance plans, stresses the development of coaching skills for supervisors, introduces a 360-degree feedback mechanism for supervisors, broadens and enhances communication of performance data, and stresses internal and external customer service.

Mr. Krawchyk shared how the PEP encompasses the Division's trust-based processes for achieving results through incorporating training, measurement, communication, and recognition in the following eight steps:

  • establishing outcome-based mission, vision, and goals, integrated with the agency's strategic plan and employee performance plans;
  • constructing employee performance plans that
  • reflect and support organizational goals;
  • incorporating self-directed work teams;
  • training managers in coaching skills and providing them with employee feedback;
  • sharing information at all levels;
  • using customer feedback;
  • reporting on results; and
  • recognizing superior performance and developing plans for improving performance.

Results of the PEP include a 99 percent compliance rate, a 100 percent customer satisfaction rate, and 5 consecutive years of productivity improvement.

Visuals for Veterans Program

Stewart Liff, Director of the VA Los Angeles Regional Office (LARO) highlighted the Visuals for Veterans Program for conference attendees. The LARO is responsible for providing benefits and services to over 1,200,000 veterans. The Program is a comprehensive visual communication program. It uses a series of visual displays, including television monitors, to provide feedback that is updated daily. These visual displays sensitize employees to the veterans' experiences. The Visuals for Veterans Program integrates the VBA strategic goals as well as its balanced scorecard at the network, station, division, and team levels. Goals are described at various levels throughout the organization from the overall regional goals through team goals. LARO also uses its scorecard results when distributing "share" rewards tied to the achievement of national, network, and station targets. The program communicates to each employee his or her contribution to VBA's specific strategic goals and objectives for serving veterans.

The Visuals for Veterans Program has been extremely successful and is having an enormous impact on the way the VA serves veterans. In fact, the LARO is often used as a model for the rest of VA, with station level score-card results placing it in the top 15 out of 57 regional VBA offices.

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