Resources on the merit system principles?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Hammer 7 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #111907

    Daniel Honker
    Participant

    I'm doing some research on how the merit system principles apply to govt HR systems. I'm looking for any good resources that explain what each of these principles mean for agencies over the cycle of policymaking and implementation. So far, I'm thinking of this in terms of what each principle means for 1) setting personnel policy, 2) implementing that policy, including trainings, etc., and 3) evaluating and measuring progress, including use of surveys, analysis of data on promotions, hiring, diversity, performance, etc.

    Would greatly appreciate any good frameworks, reports, studies, or summaries you know of!
  • #111933

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    The mother source on such matters is always the Merit Systems Protection Board's studies/reports page:

    http://www.mspb.gov/studies/index.htm

  • #111931

    Daniel Honker
    Participant

    Mother source, indeed. Thanks, Mark.

  • #111928

    William Spencer
    Participant

    Mark: Thanks for pointing Daniel in the right direction!

    Daniel: In addition to the information available on our website, the Merit Systems Protection Board is close to launching a new series highlighting the merit principles. A summary of another one will appear roughly each month on our website. As a preview, I've uploaded the first installment. Let us know if you have any further questions by posting here or emailing [email protected]. Also, follow us on Twitter (@USMSPB). Thanks.

  • #111926

    Daniel Honker
    Participant

    William - What a great resource, and how timely! Many thanks!

  • #111924

    Doris Tirone
    Participant

    Tried to find & follow you @USMSPB on Twitter but the account wasn't there.

  • #111922

    William Spencer
    Participant

    Doris: Try searching for USMSPB (without the @). It should be there! Thanks.

  • #111920

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    Daniel,
    Do yourself a favour and subscribe to the "Issues of Merit" newsletter. You'll be glad you did. Who knows, in the coming year you might even see an article or two from us Canadians in there.....with American spelling, of course!

  • #111918

    Daniel Honker
    Participant

    Thanks, Mark. I'll be sure to savor the insights of the newsletter...

    And great to see MSPB on Twitter!

  • #111915

    Joan E
    Participant

    Daniel, a lot of the OPM information on the Human Capital Accountability Framework ties into the Merit System Principles. Here is a 2009 document I did for an internal agency briefing. I can't swear that all of the information is current, but it might provide some good ideas. The OPM documents are very extensive and do provide a framework. There are links at the end of the document. Joan

  • #111913

    Ed Powell
    Participant

    JUST USE RESUMES!! GET RID OF KSAS!!

    HECK, GET RID OF MERIT!! Why should people have to show that they are eligible, qualified and worthy just to get a federal job?

    It's the same with government procurement. Why should I have to show that I can actually do the work before I get a government contract? Why do I have to actually acknowledge and address the government's specifications? Why don't federal buyers just go to my website, read my advertising and then fax me a check?

    >>>>>>

    Like federal purchasing, federal hiring needs to be accomplished in an objective, open, transparent and "merit-" based process that provides equal and fair consideration to everyone that applies. I use "merit" in quotes because of the numerous and growing exceptions to "merit hiring" that add layers of complexity (former feds returning from military duty, CTAP, ICTAP, Reemployment Priority, Stopper Lists, expiring overseas asignments, veteran's preference, spouse preference, survivor preference, federal career intern program, etc.) that take time and effort to adjudicate.

    The federal "merit system" and hiring process are in SHAMBLES! The problem is not the vehicle... applications, USAJOBS, programs... it is the PROCESS that is established in in the hundreads of laws passed over 60 years that were often in direct conflict and the hundreds of rules and regulations that attempt to reconcile those conflicts.

    Current attempts to speed this faulty process are threatening the shreds of "merit" that remain.

  • #111911

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    What you allude to is something that crops up in government constantly: policies that have been developed in isolation from each other, rather than in conjunction with each other.

    Here's a good illustration of what I mean. In Canada, we have employment equity legislation, just like you folks do. Our definition of the protected groups is a little different than yours, but it's the same basic idea of monitoring successful job attainment in the protected groups, and striving to assure that no group is disadvantaged by systemic or other non-merit-related factors.

    We also have official language legislation that assures the presence of both official languages in government. Not just for the purposes of serving the public, but also for the purposes of supervision/management, and allowing people to be assessed, to be managed, and to work in, the official language of their choice. Both sets of policies are fine and fair, but neither is written to explicitly dovetail with the other. So, visible minority members may be obstructed from entry to federal jobs, or promotion to higher federal positions, by virtue of the lack of the other official language. That tends not to pertain to "homegrown" minority members who have received a Canadian education from kndergarten onward and acquired both languages, but may provide a substantial barrier to newer Canadians whose education was obtained largely overseas, and who may be somewhat "counter-prepared" to become sufficiently fluent in the other official language (at least speedily enough to be competitive in the federal job market). So we find ourselves in a position whereby promises of diversity can fall short because of language requirements, and commitments to language equity can fall short because of diversity objectives. Both are commendable objectives, but they don't live under the same roof very well.

    Don't get me started on things that managers do to keep the volume of applicants manageable, and how that can often impose non merit-related barriers. So, yeah, it's a lot of little things that add up, many of which are in conflict with each other, when it comes to translating merit principles into concrete practices.

  • #111909

    Doris Tirone
    Participant

    If I could simply "thumbs up" some of the comments made here, I'd do that. I asked a similar question about the Merit System several months ago ... perhaps the comments made during that discussion will help? See Is Merit Promotion a Euphemism?

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