FY 2021 Annual Performance Plan and Report - Goal 5 Objective 2

Fiscal Year 2021
Released March, 2020

Goal 5. Objective 2: Manage human capital to achieve the HHS mission

As the Department looks to FY 2020 and beyond, it imagines all the achievements that can be reached when workforce performance is heightened, efficiencies achieved, and accountability strengthened.  The Department must continue to create a flexible and agile workforce that responds and adapts to change: change in technology, change in society, change in expectations, and change in scientific findings.  HHS needs the leaders of tomorrow today.  To this end, the Department will continue to build a world-class federal management team and a workforce ready to collaborate with colleagues within the Department, among other federal departments, and outside the Federal Government, to seek change that improves and enhances the health and well-being of Americans.

The Office of the Secretary leads this objective.  All divisions contribute to the achievement of this objective.  In consultation with OMB, HHS has highlighted this objective as a focus area for improvement.  The Department is progressing in this objective, but HHS would like to enhance that progress moving forward.  The narrative below provides a brief summary of progress made and achievements or challenges, as well as plans to improve or maintain performance.

Objective 5.2 Table of Related Performance Measures

Increase HHS employee engagement through Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) (Lead Agency - ASA; Measure ID - 2.6)51

  FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021
Target Baseline 67% 68% 69% 72.5% 73% 75% 75%
Result 66% 68% 70% 72% 72.8% 73.5% 9/20/20 9/30/21
Status Actual Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Target Exceeded Pending Pending

Employee engagement is foundational to achieving the level of active strategic management needed for building and sustaining the 21st century workforce The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) FEVS measures employee engagement.52 Employee engagement drives performance.  Engaged employees look at the whole of the organization and understand their purpose within the agency’s mission.  This understanding leads to better decision-making.  In FY 2020 and FY 2021, HHS will continue to use FEVS data to monitor the impact of its efforts to support organizational improvement.  In FY 2019, the Department reported the highest employee engagement score (74 percent) among very large federal agencies.  Also among these agencies, HHS reported the top response rates (72 percent).  In FY 2020 and FY 2021, HHS expects to meet and maintain a target of 75 percent for this goal.

Decrease the cycle time to hire new employees (Lead Agency - ASA; Measure ID - 2.8)

  FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021
Target N/A N/A N/A N/A 80 days 80 days 80 days 80 days
Result N/A N/A 108 days 101 days 94 days 113 12/31/20 12/31/21
Status N/A N/A Actual Actual Target Not Met but Improved Target Not Met Pending Pending

HHS is modernizing its federal hiring practices, which includes simplifying and streamlining the hiring process.  In 2010, OPM issued guidance encouraging agencies to implement an 80-day hiring process.  These data demonstrate how close HHS is to reaching this target.  The Department has determined that it can reduce some duplicative effort through standardization and sharing of efforts across staffing organizations.  These enhanced business practices are still emerging and so their impact will not be fully felt until next year.

The FY 2019 result does not reflect HHS’s progress with streamlining its hiring process through the HHS ReImagine Maximize Talent initiative.  While the shutdown significantly contributed HHS’s not meeting the FY 2019 target, other factors played a role. HHS had far higher demand for staffing services in FY 2019 (8,929 hires) than in FY 2018 (6,213 hires). This measure reports on the end-to-end hiring process, not just those parts of the process which HHS controls. One of the efficiencies that HHS has rolled out across several HR Centers is the use of shared certificates in which a certificate of eligible candidates from one recruitment is used to hire new employees in additional areas beyond that initial recruitment. The way HHS calculates time to hire is to count the number of days between when HHS validates an initial recruitment and the time a person physically reports for duty. The existing tracking systems do not yet have the capability to designate an alternative start time for shared certificate hires (i.e. when a hiring manager receives a shared certificate); therefore, a hire from a shared cert will have the same “start time” as the start time for the original recruitment rather than start time when the hiring manager initiated the shared certificate process. The data shows that the shared recruitment takes longer, despite the actual results. HHS seeks to correct this issue with improved tracking systems.

In FY 2020 and FY 2021, HHS will continue using this process and will identify and implement additional ways for streamlining the time-to-hire cycle.  Please refer to the ReImagine Maximize Talent initiative in the Major Management Priorities section of this report for more information.

51 This measure reports employee engagement index results collected through the FEVS.

52 FEVS assesses whether an employee’s sense of purpose is evident in their display of dedication, persistence, and effort in their work or overall attachment to their organization and its mission.


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