Last April, the Office of Management and Budget released a report titled Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce. It instructed agencies to “achieve near-term workforce reductions and cost savings”.
This new 2018 Federal Workforce Priorities Report by the Office of Personnel Management says the priorities it identifies “align with and support the Administration’s initiatives to reshape the workforce and maximize employee performance as outlined in the OMB memo.”
The following 6 priorities in the areas of reshaping the federal workforce and maximizing employee performance are outlined in OPM’s report.
Priority 1: Succession Planning and Knowledge Transfer
Conduct succession planning activities to retain and transfer institutional knowledge, as workforce reshaping efforts are undertaken.
Priority 2: Deploying Communication Tools
Adopt tools that allow employees to easily connect, communicate, and collaborate with one another regardless of geographic location.
Priority 3: Securing Technological Solutions for Human Capital Analysis
OPM will seek to acquire or develop enterprise technological solutions to assist the federal human capital community with human capital analysis.
Maximizing Employee Performance
Priority 4: Expanding Employee Development Opportunities
Provide employees with many opportunities for continuous professional growth and skill development.
Priority 5: Bolstering Employee Recognition Programs
Administer robust programs to appropriately recognize and reward employees who demonstrate high levels of performance and significantly contribute to achieving organizational goals.
Priority 6: Enhancing Productivity through a Focus on Employee Health
Encourage employees to engage in physical fitness activities during time spent commuting and being at work.
Promoting Physical Activity at Work
With respect to Priority 6 above, this report outlines the benefits of a healthy workforce. OPM offers ideas for ways agencies can foster efforts to have healthier employees. The report didn’t say these things were mandatory or would be coming to agencies soon, rather it outlined the benefits of a healthy workforce and cited research supporting each suggestion.
Standing Desks—the report said, “stand-capable desks allow employees to quickly adjust their desk stations between sitting and standing positions. There are relatively inexpensive and readily available to agencies through the General Services Administration Global Supply.”
Exercise During Breaks—this report notes that in 2016, employers were offering onsite fitness centers and classes and even reimbursements for offsite fitness center memberships. The report also cites research that found employees who exercised regularly onsite at organizations, usually 45 minutes or less, showed improved mood and performance on those exercise days.
The complete report goes into detail about the future challenges and opportunities for the federal workforce, such as shifting demographics in the workplace and succession planning.