OPM to Focus on Clarity and Guidance Materials in the New Year

This year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will focus on providing new tools and materials to clarify and help agency leaders better understand the programs and guidance they can use, in addition to the best implementation for them. .

Last month, OPM released a new online training course, “Maximizing Employee Engagement,” which defines engagement best practices and gives participants examples where they can be used in their work place.

OPM is also finalizing a Pathways handbook and flexibility tool, in addition to a hiring manager toolkit. This comes after multiple discussions between OPM and over 100 representatives from agencies, colleges, universities and other organizations identified some of the challenges when using the Pathways Program.

Pathways – the product of OPM’s reorganization of the federal internship program in 2012 – has continued to struggle as agencies attempt to adjust to the new regulations.

“We found that some agencies hadn’t been convinced that the Pathways Program was going to help them get to their goals,” said Mark Reinhold, associate director for employee services and OPM chief human capital officer. “What we’re finding is that fortunately, agencies are continuously recognizing the value — or increasingly recognizing the value — of the programs. Just in the past couple of years, we’re beginning to see an uptick in the numbers of hires that are made under these programs.”

Reinhold has also said that OPM will host forums in the coming months to engage with agency senior accountable officials in preparation of the 2016 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. They are specifically looking at different ways to increase the response rate to the survey.

“We’re seeing a lot of great progress in agencies in communications and empowering their subordinate organizational components to respond to their local needs and their local engagement challenges,” he said. “We’re seeing some great and innovative partnerships with labor unions. And we’re really seeing agencies step up and approach the results strategically.”




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