MSPB regularly releases major studies, shorter research briefs, and the Issues of Merit newsletter to assess and evaluate Federal merit system policies, operations, and practices. Periodically, we also administer Federal employee surveys and conduct other forms of stakeholder outreach. Below, you will find the most recent publications, announcements, and other informational materials that may be of interest to our stakeholders.
Issues of Merit April 2022
- Confidence in Ability to Perform Successfully
This brief examines Federal employees’ Confidence in Ability to Perform Successfully (CAPS). Governmentwide survey results show a relationship between CAPS and how employees think about career paths, work tasks, task outcomes, work-related competencies, and engagement. The brief also presents implications of CAPS for managing work and employee counseling and development. More inside...
- Agency Leader Responsibilities Related to Prohibited Personnel Practices
The law expressly directs the head of each agency to engage in certain activities to prevent the commission of prohibited personnel practices (PPPs). This research brief discusses those responsibilities, the extent to which they can—and in some cases cannot—be delegated, and how they interact to create an ethical environment for a merit-based civil service. More inside..
- Determining an Acceptable Level of Competence for Step Increases
The within grade increase (WGI) is an increase to an employee’s pay that occurs on a fixed schedule, provided that the employee performs at “an acceptable level of competence.” This research brief explores factors that are important to the WGI process, the role of the WGI in addressing under-performance, and some lessons learned for agencies to consider. More inside..
- Direct-Hire Authority Under 5 U.S.C. § 3304: Usage and Outcomes
Direct-hire authorities (DHAs) allow agencies to use streamlined procedures to appoint new employees without regard to some key merit system and public policy provisions. This research brief explores the overall usage of direct hire authorities and then looks more closely at the authority that is covered under 5 U.S.C. § 3304(a)(3) and is approved and overseen by OPM. Specifically, the brief examines what §3304 DHA is, the extent to which it is used, the outcomes achieved, and the reported advantages and disadvantages of its use. More inside..
- The Importance of Job Fit for Federal Agencies and Employees
This brief examines the importance of a good fit between employees and jobs within Federal organizations. Data from our 2016 Merit Principles Survey indicate that job fit is related to a number of important workplace outcomes such as job satisfaction, employee engagement, job performance, and an employee’s intent to leave. Accordingly, this brief outlines some actions in areas such as job design, hiring, training and development, and performance management that might help Federal managers and employees improve job fit. Read more...
- State of the Federal HR Workforce: Changes and Challenges
This brief discusses how the role of HR has changed over the past 25 years; examines the expectations that customers of Federal HR staff have for the HR function; and describes barriers to making HR offices and HR staff more consultative Read more...