Obama’s Management Goals Focus on Federal Employee Engagement 

The White House recently launched documents stating out a new set of agency-specific priorities and broader cross-agency  goals. To comply with the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernisation Act, the Obama administration outlined about 80 two-year agency goals dispersed across the major 24 agencies. Eight management-oriented goals are each grouped under one of four themes: effectiveness, efficiency, economic growth and people and culture.

In an article it is stated a workforce-related government wide goal – the people and culture initiative will focus on employee engagement as “measured by employee views about their leaders, supervisors, and work experience,” with OMB noting that agencies can now get access to such data for more than “13,000 work-level units across the country (up from just a few hundred units four years ago).”

To ensure effective leadership and accountability across Federal Government, goals have a named senior leader both within the Executive Office of the President and within key delivery agencies. For example, the National Economic Council, together with the Deputy Secretaries from the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State are leading efforts to encourage foreign direct investment and spur job growth by improving Federal investment tools and resources while increasing interagency coordination. In another example, the Presidential Personnel Office and Office of Personnel Management are teaming up to strengthen our Federal workforce through data-driven efforts to improve employee engagement, hiring reform, and improving our management cadre.

Later this spring, the Goal Leaders will release more detailed action plans for each of their goals including specific metrics and milestones that will be used to gauge progress. To maintain the focus on implementation, each quarter, OMB will review progress on these goals and will update Performance.gov with the latest results.

In another article it was quoted ‘Federal managers can improve relationships with their employees through more open communication and offering workplace flexibility options like telework’.

Officials from across government addressed the Federal Managers Association, speaking on the importance of leadership to maximize employee productivity and implement changes that front-line workers want to see. Managers must not only reach out to their staff to identify problems, speakers said, but also circle back to tell employees their concerns have been addressed. Efforts to improve relationships with the workforce should be qualitative and involve open dialogue, but also quantitative by using data from the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, officials said.

The US government taking employee engagement seriously sends out a great message and reinforces the importance of the topic across their economy. They have weaved in aspects of the 4 enablers and if managed efficiently would be great case study of the importance of the topic. The more private sector management style will also aid the federal system with its cost cutting initiatives.

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