A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
FY 1999 Annual Plan - Volume 1. Objective Performance Plans and Data Quality - February 27, 1998
Objective 4.5. The Department's employees are highly skilled and high-performing
Context: To effectively lead educational reform, the Department must provide its workforce with certain skills and tools, as well as a quality workplace. Prior GAO reports highlighted the need for the Department to develop strategic management systems, including those for human resources. In addition, recent employee surveys identified the need for quality, cost-effective learning opportunities, especially for current and prospective managers, and improving the quality of the work environment. To ensure the continuous development and high performance of all Department employees, planned activities through 1999 and beyond focus on addressing these needs and building upon related, recently introduced innovations, such as the automated, multi-rater ("360") performance appraisal system.
Key strategies for FY 1999
- High staff performance.
- Provide training and development activities focused on improving leadership and management competencies and addressing critical skills needs, including those related to financial and information management and the use of technology. Partnership arrangements will be used to bring in specialized expertise to the Department from recognized experts. $4 million is requested for training and development services to be made available through the Training and Development Center and through individual principal offices.
- Benchmark training services with the "best-in-business" in the federal government and private sector.
- Provide on-line, computer-based training and other innovations to increase access to training opportunities and address the need for additional training opportunities for regional employees, as highlighted by the 1996 Employee Survey and feedback from Union officials working in partnership with the Department.
- A fair, efficient and responsive workplace.
- Assess whether the recently opened Informal Dispute Resolution Center (IDRC) and related efforts have been successful in helping employees and managers to avoid and/or promptly resolve EEO complaints or other matters of dispute.
- Encourage resolution of formal complaints at the earliest stage possible by rendering final agency decisions in-house and thereby minimizing the caseload at EEOC.
- A healthy, safe, secure and accessible workplace for all employees.
- Ensure that employees who move back to their newly renovated headquarters facility, as well as those being relocated in regional offices in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Kansas City, are satisfied with workplace services, including those related to the actual moves. For 1999, $2.8 million is requested to support the renovation of Department office space, primarily in the regional offices.
- Ensure that measures of workplace quality, including air and water quality, are consistently high as are measures of satisfaction with the responsiveness of services requested through the Department's customer service center.
Selected performance indicators and charts
By 2000, 75% of Department managers will agree that staff knowledge and skills are adequate to carry out the Department's mission. (Goal 4, indicator 19)
Indicator background and context. An array of survey and focus group data and information from the GAO exists indicating that agency managers lack confidence that staff knowledge and skills are adequate to manage large systems and carry out certain other core responsibilities. One example highlighted by the Employee Survey is that the ability to manage effectively remains a concern of employees. The 1996 Employee Survey indicated that 28.8% of employees agree that the Department delivers effective managerial training, and 42.7% agree that management provides effective leadership in their organizational unit. By the end of 1998, baseline data will be available on the proportion of mangers who agree that staff knowledge and skills are adequate, and an extensive employee survey effort is planned for 2000 to assess overall progress in meeting performance targets.
Data source. 1993 & 1996 Employee Surveys.
By 2000, most employees and managers will express high satisfaction with assistance on resolving employee disputes, and disputes will be closed quickly and informally whenever possible. (Goal 4, indicator 21)
Indicator background and context. The 1996 Employee Survey indicated 72% of employees know where to go to receive assistance in resolving disputes. The Department has targeted high results in this area, based on the projection that the marketing and information efforts of the recently opened IDRC will have a positive impact on this measure. Opening of the IDRC and re-engineering the EEO office may already have had an impact on the percentage of disputes being resolved the 1997 IDRC report stated 64% of employee disputes were resolved informally, an increase from 22% in 1993.
Data source. 1996 Employee Survey, EEOC 462 Reports, IDRC Reports.
Verification/validation of performance measures: Employee surveys and evaluations, such as the one planned for the Informal Dispute Resolution Center, are or will be administered by independent contractors. Information systems are used to calculate processing times and so forth for employee complaint processing and other matters. In addition, other administrative records will be used to determine the quality of employee responses and services to customers.