Most workplaces strive for better diversity, establishing initiatives to create a more representative workforce and address potential barriers to inclusion. Nowhere is this truer than in federal agencies, which are guided by policy directives on the matter.
Federal workplace diversity analysis is a process by which agencies in the Federal Government evaluate the current workforce to identify triggers that lead to barriers to diversity. Through annual reports produced by every agency organization to stay MD-715 compliant, gaps are identified in the diversity of the current workforce.
Every agency in the Federal Government is required to complete the same reporting for MD-715 compliance. Whether you have a dedicated team in your agency managing these reports every year or it’s a team effort,
All federal agencies are tasked with performing standardized reporting each year to meet MD-715 requirements. The tables included in the management directive are designed to help agencies identify potential triggers for gaps in representation, but in many agencies it’s difficult to get to that point.
There are many opportunities to use the vast stores of employee data in the Federal Government to evaluate potential issues and enact change at a large scale. But due to a lack of resources and systems to leverage these resources, many agency components are unable to do so. They focus more heavily on data collection and organization than they do analysis, and the result is a lack of data-driven decision making.
You can never truly replace the insights of a good manager working closely with their team, identifying weaknesses and coaching employees to improve. But in a large federal agency, it becomes increasingly difficult to rely solely on these one-to-one interactions. Without a plan to identify key positions and assess employees based on their proficiency in clearly defined skills they need to perform their job, gaps can start to appear that influence not only immediate performance but long-term needs.
At any given time in a large federal agency, there are thousands of people in need of training to address specific skills gaps. Whether related to their current responsibilities or future roles for which they hope to be considered, the gaps are not always easily identified.
One of the most under-utilized HR activity in federal agencies is an employee developmental assessment. A developmental assessment carefully evaluates the level at which key staff members operate, based not only specific competencies but on a rubric of proficiencies in those skills. These assessments inform critical HR decisions around training, future hiring needs, and current workforce availability, but they are only as good as the models on which they are built.
The better a federal agency understands the makeup and skillset of their workforce, the better they can build training programs for employee development, plan for future hiring needs, and map out succession plans for strategic positions.
The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), administered every year by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to nearly half a million federal employees, is a mark of pride for many agencies. Those who perform well on an annual basis proudly share their insights and best practices with other agencies to showcase what works and what does not in building a high overall satisfaction score among employees.