Why Your Agency Needs to Start Talking about Professional Development Again

Building an engaging workplace is a key mission of any government agency. Engagement matters. Not only are engaged employees more innovative, productive, committed, and satisfied, they are also less likely to leave. And we all know that the cost of employee turnover is high in terms of monetary and knowledge loss.

But what building blocks do you need to nurture an employee’s sense of purpose and committed role to the mission?

A 2016 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (summarized in this infographic) from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) cited five key factors that drive an engaging workplace.

1. Performance feedback
2. Collaborative management
3. Merit system principles
4. Training and development
5. Work/life balance

These may not come as a surprise, but with extensive budget cutbacks, restructured programs, and the pressure to stretch every tax payer dollar to the max, some of these factors are hard to address. What’s more, many agencies are facing the loss of institutional knowledge as experienced personnel retire.

There is an answer, and it comes in the form of technology. Specifically, continuous online learning technology.

To offer a thorough learning experience, agencies usually send people to a class—and those costs add up fast. Let’s say a group of FDA scientists needs to take a five-day classroom course. Five employees are local, but 25 of them need to travel to Washington, D.C., where the agency is hosting the event. The total estimated cost is $55,000 dollars for one training session.

Online learning environments, like those offered by DLT’s newest partner, Blackboard, can reduce travel costs and still enjoy a collaborative, classroom-style experience. Blackboard even integrates with existing learning management systems (LMS). Used by DoD, U.S. Army, FAA, and states and municipalities across the country, Blackboard can help close skill gaps, make learning fun and rewarding through activities like group projects and discussions, wikis, blogs, and the ability to incorporate a wide range of multimedia content.

But, it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just beginning to consider a blended learning program. It’s important to define your agency’s learning goals. Whether you’re providing an online learning solution for all of your personnel or looking to augment the professional development of one group inside your agency, check out the resources below or view a demo to learn about how you can use technology to develop a roadmap to online learning and greater employee engagement.

Infographic: A Roadmap to Online Learning
eBook: Create a Better Government Through Professional Development

Learn more about DLT’s new partnership with Blackboard.