As part of the PMA Priority 1, Strengthening and Empowering the Federal Workforce, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has been traveling the country to host training sessions for federal employees on succeeding in a hybrid work environment. The program, titled “Thriving in a Hybrid Environment” covers a variety of topics related to this topic, including benefits and challenges, best practices, and how to promote effective collaboration and communication methods.
To understand trends in hybrid work, how this initiative supports the PMA, and how these trainings will help employees excel, we sat down with Lauren Giacalone, a Performance Management Consultant with OPM, to learn more about the importance of these trainings and how you can find one in a city near you or virtually.
What trends or patterns have you recognized in the federal workforce regarding working in a hybrid environment?
Lauren: In the last few years, we have seen how hybrid work presents many opportunities for flexibility, accessibility, and employee retention but there are also challenges the workforce still needs to navigate along the way to make sure teams are cohesive and engaged in accomplishing their goals. Agencies effectively implementing hybrid work policies use data to inform their decision-making, and are developing forward-thinking policies that maximize employee flexibility. For example, the State Department and the National Science Foundation have implemented decision-making tools to determine telework and remote work eligibility, while DHS and DOE have policies that allow employees to choose when they need to be in the office.
See more below as Lauren shares her insights on observed patterns and successes, drawing from the current state of federal employees working in a hybrid environment.
How does this work support the PMA?
Lauren: It’s clear that agencies are actively thinking about how to use policies and tools to best support employee performance. These trainings are not only a great way to provide necessary information and create connections across agencies and teams, but also play a vital role in supporting the work of the PMA to strengthen and empower the Federal workforce.
See more below as Lauren explains exactly how the “Thriving in a Hybrid Environment” training series contributes to the Federal Government’s investment in its people.
How will these trainings help employees thrive in a hybrid environment?
Lauren: While hybrid work is not a new concept, adopting it demands more than just working remotely with a laptop. The training teaches federal employees about the hybrid work environment, how to navigate its challenges, and how to optimize its successes. The training also focuses on humanistic guidance and best practices, such as engaging with all employees intentionally, breaking down silos, and making in-person time meaningful.
Watch below as Lauren discusses how the training goes beyond technology to describe the essence of a hybrid environment on a personal level.
What are your top takeaways from the trainings?
Lauren: While the strategic and implementation value of the trainings is clear, ensuring participants enjoy the presentation and actively engage with the material is equally important to making the most of their time. The training is designed to help supervisors empower their employees, help employees navigate their own performance journey, and keep inclusion and equity at the forefront for successful hybrid work. These sessions have been praised by seasoned Feds as one of the best they’ve attended in their careers.
Learn more below from Lauren as she discusses her top takeaways and shares that these trainings are not only enlightening but also make for a great team building activity.
While Lauren and her team have already visited Washington DC, Chicago, Kansas City, Atlanta, and San Francisco, their journey continues! Look out for upcoming trainings in Seattle, San Antonio, and Boston. Virtual opportunities will also be available. Interested participants can sign up via Eventbrite. For more information on these trainings view the full toolkit here.
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