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Guidance on Employee Satisfaction Action Planning

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
From: 
John Berry, Director
Subject: 
Guidance on Employee Satisfaction Action Planning

In my June 18, 2009, memorandum regarding hiring reform, employee satisfaction and wellness, I asked agencies to submit an action plan to OPM for improving employee satisfaction and to include it as part of their Fiscal Year 2011 budget submissions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by September 14, 2009.  This is to provide additional information in fulfilling this requirement.  The previous memorandum referred to the following Federal Human Capital Survey (FHCS) information that should be considered when selecting the areas for improvement: 

To meet your employee satisfaction requirements, agencies should review their 2008 FHCS results, provided early this year by OPM, to identify (1) the 10 items on which they scored lowest compared to the rest of government; (2) any item(s) on which employee satisfaction decreased since the 2006 FHCS; (3) those Human Capital Assessment and Accountable Framework (HCAAF) indices in which the agency scored lower than the rest of government.

Prior to developing your agency’s action plan, you should conduct follow-up activities, such as focus groups with employees and labor organizations, to identify the reasons for dissatisfaction.  After assessing the survey results and the information obtained from follow-up activities, select areas for improvement that are important to your agency and that you believe you can positively influence, and prepare an action plan to address them.

The action plan should clearly:  (1) state your objective(s), (2) identify actions to be taken, (3) provide outcome measures and improvement targets, and (4) describe how progress will be tracked.  In stating the objective, you will want to identify the areas for improvement and the reasons why these areas were selected.  In addition to identifying the specific actions to be taken to achieve improvements, include a time frame for accomplishing the actions, the parties responsible for implementation, the individuals who will be affected by the actions, any resources required, and a plan to communicate actions to managers and employees.

In order to measure improvement on your objectives, please identify the outcome measures you will use (e.g., FHCS survey questions), the data to be gathered, dates for the data collection, and your improvement targets (e.g., future score on a FHCS item).

After the action plan is developed, progress should be regularly monitored and frequent updates provided to managers and employees.  The plan you develop will help you prepare your annual Human Capital Management Report.  Action planning is a continuous improvement process and should be part of the way an agency does business.  Employees, the labor organizations representing them, and other stakeholders should be involved in the process.  Remember, your visible support in this process is absolutely critical for success.

Should you require any assistance concerning this guidance, please contact the Human Capital Officer assigned to your agency.