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Maximization of Employee Performance Management and Engagement by Streamlining Agency Performance and Dismissal Policies and Procedures

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Maximization of Employee Performance Management and Engagement by Streamlining Agency Performance and Dismissal Policies and Procedures



On March 20, 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). The PMA sets forth the long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government and its workforce. To ensure accomplishment of this vision, the PMA sets forth a set of Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals designed to assist Federal agencies in focusing their efforts towards several key areas of transformation. Notably, CAP Goal 3, Developing a Workforce for the 21st Century, includes a challenge to agencies to maximize employee performance management and engagement.  A significant action that agencies should be taking to meet this challenge is streamlining and updating agency performance management and dismissal policies and procedures.   


Streamlining Agency Performance Management and Dismissal Policies and Procedures


As an important precursor to the PMA, OMB’s April 12, 2017 memorandum, M-17-22, Subject: Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce ( ), describes expectations concerning agency development of plans to maximize employee performance. A key action described in the memorandum is the requirement for agencies to review and update agency-wide policies, procedures and guidance concerning how to address poor performance and conduct. Specifically, the memorandum requires agencies to do the following:


  • Review whether agency policies create unnecessary barriers to addressing poor performance;
  • Remove steps and procedures for addressing poor performance and misconduct that are not required by statute or Federal regulation that is currently in force; and
  • Provide supervisors with rules and guidance regarding performance improvement plans (PIPs) pursuant to Chapter 43 (noting PIPs can be started at any point and not just at the end of the rating period) and guidance that unacceptable performance can be addressed through Chapter 75. Ideally, the guidance should be developed for application across the entire agency; but if that is not possible, it should be aimed toward application at the highest major component level possible.


This serves as a reminder that the PMA captures these requirements as a part of CAP Goal 3, and the goal leaders for this effort have set a target for agencies to comply by no later than the end of Quarter 2 of Fiscal Year 2020. To that end, agencies are strongly encouraged to review the PMA and related documents like the M-17-22 memorandum, and the most recent Action Plan for CAP Goal 3 to ensure that agency efforts are continually pointed towards this, and the other personnel-related goals and action items (e.g., ensuring managers and the human resources professionals who support them are all appropriately trained on best practices for managing employee performance and conduct). All relevant information on the PMA is available at


Completion of these actions advances Federal-wide achievement of PMA CAP Goal 3, and moves us all further towards the President’s overarching vision of a Federal Government that delivers mission outcomes and excellent service to the American people.  Therefore, by no later than April 30, 2020, agencies shall notify OPM of their completion of, and compliance with each of the three requirements.  To the extent that compliance with a requirement is hindered or impacted by the existence of a current collective bargaining agreement, agencies should indicate the date by which they expect to be able to comply or otherwise complete the required action.  Compliance notifications should be sent to OPM’s Office of Accountability and Workforce Relations by e-mail to the address identified below.  Notifications need only be in the form of an e-mail message from an agency representative that a) confirms the agency’s completion of each of the three requirements; or b) provides (1) a brief statement explaining why a requirement has not yet been completed; (2) the date by which the agency expects to be able to report compliance; and (3) an agency point of contact. 




Agency headquarters-level human resources offices may contact OPM at  Employees should contact their agency human resources office for further information on this memorandum.


cc:   Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs), Deputy CHCOs, and Human Resources Directors