SOURCE: Government Business Council

Government Business Council

SOURCE: Monster Government Solutions

Monster Government Solutions

May 12, 2014 11:00 ET

New Survey Reveals Gaps, Optimization Opportunities in Federal Workforce Planning

Better Data, Process Improvements Would Drive Mission Support and Individual Development

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - May 12, 2014) - Federal agencies report that they tend to rely on informal processes and incomplete data in planning their workforce today. The opportunity is there to better leverage information on employee competencies to optimize workforce planning and aid individual development, according to a new study from Government Business Council (GBC) and Monster Government Solutions. Thirty-four percent of the 1,121 federal employees surveyed report that their agencies do not gather data on competencies at all, while another 24% indicate that competency data is only collected informally, such as during conversations with managers. Competency data, defined by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management as "measurable patterns of knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work roles or occupational functions successfully," is largely incomplete and outdated.

The survey also directed questions to federal managers, defined as those that oversee at least one direct report. Of these 465 managers, 90% indicate that more information on employee competencies would help managers in their agency conduct workforce planning. Eighty percent of managers also agree or strongly agree that up-to-date information on competencies would improve their ability to manage personnel, including staff changes and reductions.

Despite the reported benefits from employing data on competencies, few agencies regularly update their information. Just two percent of respondents indicate that their agency updates information on competencies more frequently than once every few months.

"While some agencies have begun using information on competencies, few have yet to fully leverage them for managerial decisions and strategic planning," said Zoe Grotophorst, Manager of Research & Strategic Insights at GBC. "As agencies look for ways to improve organizational efficiency and strengthen federal career opportunities, they may consider strengthening the link between individuals' skills and abilities and organizational strategic planning."

"Many agencies reported that they do some sort of workforce planning," said Dr. Tim Lagan, Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and a Senior Manager with Monster Government Solutions. "To best support informed workforce decisions, agencies need to first define a repeatable process; next, build the relevant data to support it; and then deploy the tools to help them work through the planning process. And an optimized workforce has never been more important than now when agencies must operate with fewer people and lean budgets."

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Fewer than one-third of respondents report that their agency uses competencies for performance management or project staffing
  • Three-quarters of survey takers say their organization does not use competencies to help individuals create professional development plans
  • Federal managers report that uniform methodology or process would most help managers tasked with workforce planning

The GBC report, "Planning for a Robust Federal Workforce," assesses the perceptions, attitudes, and experience of federal employees regarding the current state of workforce planning. The study is based on survey data collected from 1,121 senior officials comprised of GS/GM grade levels 11 through 15.

Click here to view the full report.

About Government Business Council
Government Business Council (GBC), the research arm of Government Executive Media Group, is dedicated to advancing the business of government through analysis and insight. GBC partners with industry to share best practices with top government decision-makers, understanding the deep value inherent in industry's experience engaging and supporting federal agencies.

About Monster Government Solutions
Monster Government Solutions is the premier provider of complete workforce solutions for government and education. Monster Government Solutions pioneered online hiring in the U.S. Federal community 15 years ago and has continued developing innovative products and professional services across federal, state, and local governments and educational institutions. Monster Government Solutions helps customers plan carefully to ensure that they achieve their mission and drive measurable results. Innovative products and professional services help agencies plan their workforce, recruit among diverse audiences, build communities of talent, and help pinpoint the right hires.

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