2016 Federal Employee Orientation Programs Best Practices Research Project

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New employee orientation is rapidly becoming a focus of organizational success within the literature as noted by LinkedIn efforts, a noted leader in employee engagement, and recommendations for training processes in various industries from Federal government, private industry, and the medical community. The evaluation and revision process is an ongoing dynamic process which continues to gather Level 1, 2, and 3 data from participants, analysis and interpretation of data, examination and trend analysis, and research to identify instructional techniques and resources to enhance the learning experience. The FSI Civil Service Orientation Coordinator collaborated with FSI’s first-ever Virtual Fellow as part of the Department’s new program incorporating citizen involvement to conduct research within the Federal government to identify the best practices and industry standards of orientation programs. The research efforts of this project synthesized previous 2015 research in workforce training and this 2016 orientation study, current research, literature review, trends, and the Kirkpatrick Model principles of training and evaluation. This report presents the information in a standard format for each section: literature information, survey results, best practices, and industry standards, after reviewing 30 Federal agencies’ survey responses and many course curriculum agendas. Attempts at gaining insight from Federal leaders cited in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey went unanswered, thus the Federal agencies cited in Best Places survey were not necessarily represented in this report. Responses were from Federal agencies that were members of the OPM Training and Development ListServe. In general, Federal government agencies seem to be lagging behind leading commercial entities and other literature citing best practices and standards in the field of curriculum design and evaluation of workforce orientation training programs. Benchmarking against enlightened leaders in the commercial arena such as Zappos, LinkedIn, and Google would yield more extensive learning to gain expanded insights into designing creative, engaging, cutting-edge, new employee orientation programs.