Achieving Data-Driven Performance Management in Federal Agencies

This blog is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent industry perspective, Achieving Data-Driven Performance Management in Federal Agencies. Download the full perspective here.

Employee engagement is critical for building and retaining a productive, high performing federal workforce – a factor that’s increasingly imperative to an agency’s success in meeting its mission. But with shrinking budgets and outdated technologies, how can government attain this important goal?

One place to start: replacing outdated pen-and-paper processes with modern, agile technology that can automate workflow and capture and analyze data.

In particular, a data-driven performance management solution can foster engagement by helping agencies align employee objectives with the mission of the agency, measure performance and identify strengths and opportunities. This is the cornerstone for productivity and talent retention.

A modern performance management solution moves beyond online forms hosted on legacy systems. Employees can see the value of their work, making them more engaged in their jobs, enthusiastic about their duties and committed to the agency mission. On top of this, agencies can make better use of valuable human resources and plan orderly transitions as older workers retire and are replaced with younger employees.

Implementing a full performance management solution all at once, however, would be challenging. But it’s not necessary; agencies can take the process one step at a time, beginning with simple steps that can generate quick results. This lets agencies assess impact, identify best practices and reduce the risk of disruptions before rolling out an agency wide solution.

To discuss the value of performance management technology, tailored for the federal environment, and best practices for implementing the solution no matter an agency’s status, GovLoop sat down with Mike Giuffrida, the CEO of Acendre, a leader in performance management.

Step-by-Step Path to Performance Management 

“Replacing pen-and-paper processes is a journey, not a quick change,” Giuffrida said. Trying to implement a large program all at once can be a high-risk undertaking, prone to cost overruns. The key is implementing the solution in small steps. Giuffrida recommended the following key steps for incrementally bringing data-driven performance management to the federal government.

Align Goals. Human resource professionals must work with senior management to communicate a clear mission statement supporting performance management from recruitment through retirement. This alignment helps employees appreciate how their duties and accomplishments contribute to the mission and allows managers to establish and realize critical goals.

Make Change Inclusive. Human resource teams should cultivate a listening culture in which employees know that their concerns and ideas about the ongoing transition are being heard. This fosters employee engagement, empowering and motivating workers who can make critical contributions to the transition process.

Automate Manual Tasks for Immediate Results. There will be long-term benefits of a transition to performance management, but short-term wins along the way can provide immediate returns and generate rank-and-file support for the process. Automating manual processes and/or moving them to the cloud can improve performance and cut costs in the short run.

Develop a Workforce of Leaders. Professional development with training to help employees acquire leadership skills improves employee engagement and creates a pool of leaders for the agency. This can improve recruitment, retention and succession planning.

Drive a Modern, Agile Technology Transformation. Investing in modern, highly configurable technology suited to the processes of individual agencies improves efficiency and reduces the expense of supporting outdated information systems. Modern systems will eliminate cumbersome manual processes for recruiting, onboarding and training while improving cybersecurity.

Use the Power of Analytics. Analytics tools can provide an immediate return on your investment. Studies have shown that agencies using analytics are twice as likely to improve recruitment efforts and 2.5 times more likely to place the right people in the right jobs. They’re also twice as likely to improve their leadership pipelines.

To learn more about how you can leverage performance management solutions, download the full perspective here.


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