Strategic Federal Talent Performance Management

federal talent performance management

U.S. Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs) face unique challenges in helping their agencies transform while achieving strategic objectives and milestones. In many cases, the state of their talent acquisition holds them back: Nearly two in five federal executives say an inadequately skilled workforce presents significant obstacles to mission fulfillment, and 42 percent say they are unable to recruit the best talent, according to a July 2015 study by Vanderbilt University, Princeton University and the Volcker Alliance.

Quality talent, of course, directly contributes to the successful accomplishment of agency missions. Yet, if government hirers don’t land “just right” candidates every time, they’re not entirely at a loss – especially if their CHCOs invest into a results-producing performance management program. Through effective growth and development initiatives such as training and mentoring, for example, you build the desired workforce from within. With productive performance reviews – encouraging 360 degree feedback and discussions about progress made toward goals throughout the year, instead of merely annually – you ensure that the improvement of existing staffers stays on track.

Fortunately, modern human capital solutions are designed to help CHCOs maximize the outcomes of their federal talent performance management efforts. These solutions feature intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces that lead to rapid and enthusiastic adoption and implementation. They allow for access to real-time data, which brings immediate value to senior decision-makers, supervisors and employees. They are flexible enough to adapt to agency processes and business rules and requirements – it will work for you now and in the future, and much more swiftly and effectively than your legacy systems ever could.

This is the ninth post in a series reviewing strategic federal human capital management challenges. In this installment, we will introduce the following six critical components of a winning performance management solution for CHCOs:

Usability. A usable and engaging performance management system can greatly help you retain and grow talent. Make sure your solution clearly aligns employee and department components and goals with “bigger picture” organizational strategies. It should also place everything managers need to track performance – employee assessments, reviews, objectives, etc. – at their fingertips.

Automation. Labor-intensive manual tasks will cost your agency plenty in terms of money and budget. Today’s tools empower you to automate either just a few processes – or many of them. Subsequently, you’ll not only save time – you’ll eliminate errors.

Employee engagement and element-setting. Performance management is a team effort, not a one-way street. This means your solution should make it easy for both employees and supervisors to sit down and create agreed-upon critical elements, weigh them and, over time, assess whether they are being met or not. Ongoing interaction is key here, and strong performance management tools foster this.

Metrics and analytics. Detailed dashboards “tell” you what your talent is doing, as you “score” employees on accomplishments and developmental progress for objective, accurate assessments. The solution should generate staff performance reports on-demand or automatically, with complete visibility at each stage of reviews. With this, CHCOs and their teams come up with talent profiles and skills assessments, so – when they determine who is most at-risk of leaving – they know which high achievers are ready to replace them.

Configurable software. Designed for flexibility, the tool must always match your current performance processes – you shouldn’t need to buy a new system when your mission and/or institutional or political dynamics shift, or when new cycles and terminologies enter the picture. Flexible design also incorporates interoperability with any HR system, including that related to core processes.

Continuous improvement. Taken as a whole, our critical components combine usability, automation, analytics, etc. to help managers constantly make refinements in the interest of continuous improvement. Seemingly every day, you’ll detect – and eliminate – newly discovered bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Thus, “finding a better way” becomes ingrained into your agency’s culture.

It is, indeed, a transformative age. The federal government is now undergoing rigorous assessments of the policies, processes and technologies that can best support our nation in the 21st Century. But it can’t afford to ignore the “people” part of the equation. Thanks to today’s human capital solutions – especially those which deliver our six critical components – it won’t have to.

Related Posts:

Strategic Federal Human Capital Management — Succession Planning
Strategic Federal Human Capital Management — Knowledge Sharing
Strategic Federal Human Capital Management — HR Service Delivery
Strategic Federal Human Capital Management — People Analytics
Strategic Federal Human Capital Management — Security
Strategic Federal Human Capital Management — Employee Engagement
Strategic Federal Human Capital Management — Talent Acquisition

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