National Performance Review
Toolbox for Communications
Date Updated: March 29,1999
Communication skills will continue to grow in importance in the federal workplace. All employees of successful agencies must be able to effectively and persuasively communicate their organization's goals and values to their peers, customers, and stakeholders. Of equal importance, employees must be able to draw feedback and use it to sharpen their vision or improve services. Communication enables federal employees to build teams across agencies, to build consensus, and to lead.
The Federal Communicators Network
In April 1996, Vice President Gore asked the National Performance Review (now the National Parnership for Reinventing Government) to organize a network of editors of publications directed toward front-line federal employees. The Vice President's vision was to reach federal workers with important reinvention messages, promote a climate in which reinvention can flourish, and create a grass-roots demand to break down agency barriers to reinvention.
Since that time, the Federal Communicators Network has expanded to comprise more than 500 writers, editors, public affairs specialists, Internet/Intranet coordinators, and other communicators eager to spread the message of effective government to federal employees and share stories of reinvention challenges and successes.
Federal Communicators Network
National Partnership for Reinventing Government
750 17th Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006
(202) 632-0390 fax
National Association of Government Communicators
The NAGC was established in 1976 as a national organization for communicators in national, state, and local government. Members include writers, graphic and video artists, editors, broadcasters, photographers, public information officers, and anyone else involved in any field disseminating information within and outside government.
Elizabeth C. Lucas, President
526 King Street, Suite 423, Alexandria, VA 22314
Government Alliance For Training and Education (GATE)
Created in March 1995, this interagency group was established as a spin off from the Department of Defense's Total Force Distance Learning Action Team. GATE serves to promote the sharing of distance learning resources by facilitating operating systems. It maintains a database of more than 800 government satellite uplinks and receive sites.
Hank Payne, GATE President
Interactive Video Training Program Manager
Federal Aviation Administration
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 954-9507 fax
Federal Webmasters Forum
A group consisting of webmasters from government agencies recently formed to address policy issues surrounding federal web sites. The group will work together to answer security and privacy issues regarding agency home pages and email. Technology concerns being addressed by the group include:
- Need for compatible communication protocols across government
- Potential misuse of satellite technology
- Security of Internet sites (firewalls, etc) and electronic networks
General Services Administration
Federal Publishers Committee
This interagency group of federal publishers, editors, and printing specialists hold monthly meetings at the Government Printing Office in Washington, DC. The group mostly communicates broadcast fax.
Glenn W. King
A variety of training and skill-building opportunities are available through the following facilities.
USDA Graduate School
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School, a non-profit organization that supports itself through tuition fees, has been a leader in adult and continuing education since it was created by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1921. Its mission is to assist individuals and government organizations through education, training, and related services. The school offers job-related training for adults including daytime, evening and weekend, and correspondence classes. Classes can be used for credit toward a Certificate of Accomplishment. Some classes may be used for college credit.
Room 1103, South Agriculture Building
14th and Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20260
(202) 720-3603 fax
OPM/Federal Executive Institute
The Federal Executive Institute (FEI), within the Office of Personnel Management, is an interagency residential development center focused on the generalist role of the senior government executive. Senior Executive Service (SES) members and GS-15s are competitively selected by their agencies to attend development and leadership programs. FEI also operates two management development centers for management grade levels below GS-15.
Curtis J. Smith, director
1301 Emmett Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(804) 979-1030 fax
Federal Quality Consulting Group
FQCG is a small group of consultants within the federal government who help federal agencies use the principles of quality management, reinventing government, reengineering, and organizational transformation to create a government that works better and costs less. The FQCG is a member of the Treasury Department Franchise Fund and operates like a business. To seek
their services, or inquire about a detail to FQCG for one to two years, contact (202) 906-6068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government Printing Office
-- The Federal Depository Library Program represents nearly 1,400 federal depository libraries located throughout the United States and its territories. All provide free public access to a wide variety of federal government information and have expert staff available to assist users.
-- The Government Information Locator Service (GILS) is a new way to identify, locate, and describe publicly available federal information resources. GILS was established in 1994 to serve as a decentralized collection of agency-based information locators to direct users to relevant information resources.
GPO Access User Support Team
(888) 293-6498 (toll free)
(202) 512-1262 fax
Library - http://www.gpo.gov/su_docs/dpos/adpos001.html
GILS - http://info.er.usgs.gov/gils/index.html
GPO Home Page - http://www.access.gpo.gov/
See GATE above.
American Association of Community Colleges
Of the nation's 1100 community colleges, 87 percent have downlink capabilities for satellite videoconferencing and 60 percent have two-way videoconferencing capabilities. The AACC is helping these colleges expand their technological network to benefit businesses, government, and health and community service agencies. They surveyed America's communities colleges to access the technological capabilities of the colleges and to provide information so that non-education groups can utilize local college facilities.
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 410
Washington, DC 20036-1176
(202) 728-0200 x232
(202) 833-2467 fax
For a directory or disk of satellite resources, call (800) 250-6557. They are $2.50 each or $3.95 for both.
Internal surveys serve as a primary means for employees to openly communicate to upper management agency strengths and weaknesses. The following agencies use all-employee surveys on a regular basis to monitor the satisfaction of their employees.
U.S. Customs Service
Customs administered its first all-employee Organizational Assessment Survey in the spring of 1996 following a major reorganization. The survey, which was conducted in partnership with the National Treasury Employees Union, was designed to assist in identifying Customs' current strengths and areas for improvement and set a baseline for future assessments of progress in changing the agency's culture. In administering its survey, Customs used the generic Organizational Assessment Survey instrument developed by the Office of Personnel Management, and tailored it to meet the agency's specific needs. Customs used an interagency agreement with OPM's Personnel Research and Development Center, as well as a separate contract with a data processing firm, for survey dissemination, collection, analysis, and distribution of survey results.
(202) 927-0172 fax
General Services Administration
Currently administers an annual Quality Culture and Organizational Climate Survey to all employees. The survey contains two parts; the first section addresses how well the employees perceive that the principles of Total Quality Management are being implemented in the agency. GSA used the elements for this measurement from the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award categories, including strategic planning, leadership, customer focus, quality training/recognition, empowerment, measurement and analysis, and quality assurance. The second section addresses the climate of the agency and includes leadership, decision-making, communications, goals, job satisfaction, labor management, training, and environment.
Dr. Jocelyn Johnson
Quality Management Office and Training
Office of Personnel Management
OPM has a staff of personnel research psychologists and other professional with expertise in employee and customer surveys. They provide services in the following areas related to organizational assessment: preparing organization for assessment and improvement, survey development and customization, sampling techniques, data analysis, focus group procedures, and survey-based recommendations for improving organizational effectiveness.
Director of Workforce Quality Division
The Personnel Resources and Development Center at OPM has developed the Organizational Assessment Survey to help agencies assess and improve their organizational performance. The survey contributes to organizational performance improvement by assessing organizational strengths and weaknesses, providing a basis for effective action-planning to determine training, and establishing measures for benchmarking and evaluating change in performance over time.
Office of Personnel Research and Development
Energy Information Administration
A statistical agency is the Department of Energy. In 1994 and 1995, EIA fielded a 140-question employee attitude survey to all staff to determine organizational strengths and areas for improvement. EIA used a standard employee survey developed by a contractor who maintains a large database of responses to allow results comparisons and added their own customized questions where necessary. Staff participation was 81% in 1994 and 71% in 1995.
In 1996, EIA joined with 9 other government statistical agencies to design an employee survey conducted by the Joint Program in Survey Methodology of the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan. This interagency group will be able to use the design in future years to benchmark their results.
(202) 586-0552 fax
Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Services, FedWorld
FedWorld was introduced by the National Technical Information Service in 1992 as a one-stop shop to help people access federal government information online and provide a comprehensive central access point for locating and acquiring government information.
National Partnership for Reinventing Government (formerly the National Perfomance Review)
NPR is Vice President Al Gore's task force on reinventing government.
NPR's web site has more than 8,000 documents and helpful materials including older, historical reinvention documents. The web site has a search engine and hyperlinks to reinvention documents and activities all over government. PC Computing Magazine named it one of the "1001 Best Web Sites" in 1996.
(202) 632-0390 fax