The Office of Personnel Management is working to introduce several new digital tools to strengthen the federal workforce from top to bottom.
In a speech to the Association for Talent Development at last week’s Government Workforce: Learning Innovations Conference, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said, “I want to make sure that from the moment someone applies for a federal position to the day they decide to retire, that we provide the tools they need to develop and to succeed,” before introducing a pair of new digital efforts aimed at just that.
Working off the success of a three-year old program known as HR University, Archuleta introduced a similar concept called GovU that will leverage governmentwide sharing and collaboration for development and training. GovU’s digital portal will contain individual “colleges” focusing on development and training in specific areas.
“Sharing is the key here. We have too few resources for all of us to be doing the same thing in our separate buildings,” Archuleta said. “Each individual agency shouldn’t have to develop its own training program for subjects that pertain to the entire federal workforce. If OPM gives agencies access to education and training for these core subjects, that will help free up precious resources for development programs customized for their employees.”
GovU already has an agreement with the Defense Department opening its security and intelligence certification program to federal civilian employees. Archuleta said OPM plans to expand that concept to other occupations like cybersecurity.
OPM is also targeting strengthening senior leadership by launching a senior executive service (SES) onboarding website.
“We want to make sure our new leaders are supported from the day they start their assignment, and that we continue that guidance as they progress,” Archuleta said of adding new senior executives. Along with the new website, OPM has plans for a situational mentoring program for SES and an interagency coaching network.
These new digital efforts come as OPM is in the middle of analyzing the results of its 2014 federal employee viewpoint survey. Archuleta said OPM has begun sharing the results with agencies and has already given 20,000 individualized office reports, more than ever before and a month earlier than usual. Likewise, the data will be made available to managers through OPM’s new Unlocktalent.gov portal.
“I think it is going to help them create and maintain a culture of employee engagement and inclusion,” she said. “I take these surveys very seriously.”