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President’s Management Agenda Cross-Agency Priority Goal 3: Improve Performance Management and Engagement

Thursday, October 4, 2018
President’s Management Agenda Cross-Agency Priority Goal 3: Improve Performance Management and Engagement

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is pleased to share guidance and reporting requirements on two President’s Management Agenda milestones within the “Workforce of the 21st Century” Cross-Agency Priority Goal, Subgoal 1:

  1. All major components/bureaus will identify its bottom 20% on the 2018 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) Employee Engagement Index (EEI) and target a 20% improvement in those units by the end of 2020.
  2. All agencies will have clear standard operating procedures for disseminating the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) data to all organizational levels

Subgoal 1 focuses on improving employee performance management and engagement.  Employee engagement is a top priority because it impacts organizational performance and retention.  The intent of these milestones is to increase transparency and to:

  • Ensure agencies share the FEVS results with work units at the lowest level, and use the results to improve engagement.  Agencies should identify the 20 percent lowest scoring work units based on the percent positive scores on the 2018 FEVS Employee Engagement Index (EEI). In sum, using the 2018 FEVS EEI, agencies should select the bottom 20 percent of the lowest scoring, lowest level work units in each of the department’s/agency’s components.  The identified work units should have 30 or more respondents to maximize the meaningfulness of impact.  These work units may include a roll up of 2 or more work units with less than 30 employees.  In such a case, additional analysis should be considered to understand the unique challenges with those smaller work units.
  • Improve the EEI in targeted work units by 20 percent from the baseline 2018 data (Note:  this is a 20 percent improvement, not an increase of 20 percentage points.  For example, if the EEI percent positive is 40 percent, the goal is to increase the percent positive to 48 percent).
  • Ensure accountability and awareness by component/bureau leadership of their FEVS results. 


Reporting:  For the first milestone, within six weeks from the release date of this memorandum, each agency will provide OPM with a list of the identified work units by component/bureau. In addition, each agency will provide a brief overview of the approach the agency and each component/bureau will take to reach the 20% improvement.

The list of identified work units should be consolidated on the formatted spreadsheet OPM will provide that includes: 1) the department, agency/bureau, component; 2) work unit name as appropriate; and 3) the current EEI index score(s).  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and/or OPM will follow up with any agencies if there are questions about the methodology of selecting the work units, or about the approach the agency and its components/bureaus will take to improve the EEI.  OPM will request updates 6 months into the process to address any questions or concerns (additional instructions will follow in early 2019).

At a minimum, all progress updates should include the baseline and current EEI for the target organizations and a brief description of actions taken to improve employee engagement in each.  Issues and challenges associated with implementation should also be included in the progress update.  If OPM/OMB will require a specific format for these updates, the format requirements will be provided.

For the second milestone, within 60 days after the first submission, each agency will provide 1) a description of how your agency will communicate results down to the lowest component level, and 2) plans to ensure that each internal level is acting upon results in an effective manner.  All submissions and other related correspondence should be sent to OPM at

Additional Resources

It is critical that work unit leaders receive the guidance and support needed to effectively examine their group’s data, conduct additional analyses where needed, and develop effective action plans.  Please refer to OPM’s community of practice, UnlockTalent Connect, for a variety of tools and resources shared by agencies at  As a starting point, OPM has attached additional information your work unit leaders can use when analyzing their FEVS results and developing action plans to improve employee engagement. 

To help agencies identify their 20 percent lowest scoring work units, OPM can provide assistance on using the FEVS Data Explorer or the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Employee Viewpoint Survey Analysis & Results Tool (EVS ART), an innovative tool that quickly analyzes the FEVS reports.  Developed by NIH, the EVS ART reduces FEVS analysis processing time from hours/days/weeks to mere minutes, and aids in the timely strategic creation of employee-based initiatives.  EVS ART is a no-cost, Excel-based tool that captures OPM-defined focus areas and automates FEVS analysis using five easy steps.  The tool can be downloaded from the MAX Federal Community website.  Use of this tool is optional; agencies can use their own methods to identify the bottom 20 percent. 

If you have any questions, please email, Mr. Corey Adams at, or Ms. Julie Brill at

Attachment (see 508-conformant PDF below)

cc: Deputy CHCOs, HR Directors, CIGIE