In a recent blog post, we talked about the importance of maximizing scarce training dollars to invest in the future of the HR workforce. Equally important is to provide training and development to federal managers. OPM’s Supervisory Qualifications Guide provides general guidance and recommended competencies for federal managers. Included in the leadership competencies are Human Capital Management, Developing Others, and Continual Learning.

Federal managers (especially newly promoted or newly hired managers) deserve access to a common set of human capital training material at their agency. At a minimum, it must cover basic HR regulations, prohibited personnel practices, and merit system principles. If more formal training is desired (or required), OPM also lists numerous Federal Leadership Development Programs that are available for aspiring or new federal leaders. Through this type of training, managers will have a better understanding of the complexities and nuances of federal HR.

A great way to positively impact employee engagement scores (for example, on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey) is to ensure federal managers are trained on workforce management principles such as continuous learning and development, performance management, communications, etc. Managers are often the first place employees look to find professional training opportunities. Managers should work with agency learning and development teams to make sure developmental opportunities are well advertised and available to the workforce. Many agencies have also invested in learning content hosted on the agency’s Learning Management System (LMS) to provide training in (for example), Microsoft Office, digital editing, etc. It is also recommended the manager provide a reasonable amount of development time for employees to learn and grow in areas that are covered by their position description.

A manager thoroughly trained in basic HR principles, combined with better access to information in a central service portal will result in greater cooperation with HR. This cooperation will in turn combine with mutually beneficial professional development between managers and their employees, and make it easier for the team to achieve the outcomes that are best for their agency.