The client’s perspective
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) embarked on an ambitious multi-year project to address its pressing workforce needs and priorities. With over half of its specialized workforce approaching retirement eligibility, and multiple impending organizational changes, BEP needed a comprehensive strategy for aligning its people to achieve its mission today, and into the future.
To that end, BEP enlisted Eagle Hill to help develop an integrated Human Capital Strategic Plan that would drive meaningful workforce improvements. The resulting Human Capital Strategic Plan proposed 23 initiatives to support the achievement of five major goals, across a five-year phased implementation.
Given the success of the Human Capital Strategic Plan, as well as Eagle Hill’s understanding of the Bureau’s culture and workforce, BEP engaged our team to move forward with the Plan’s implementation.
A new view
Of the 23 initiatives proposed in the Strategic Plan, seven were identified as key priorities to address in year one: competency modeling, workforce planning, apprenticeships, career mobility, knowledge management, leadership development, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) training.
We knew maintaining a high-level of stakeholder engagement throughout implementation would be key to setting a solid foundation in year one. Eagle Hill worked with more than 200 employees (which included human resources, subject matter experts, and representatives from across levels and directorates) in iterative working sessions to build and vet numerous work products, including a process for developing technical competency models and a workforce planning process.
To create and implement a repeatable process for building technical competency models, Eagle Hill collaborated closely with BEP’s Human Resources and subject matter experts across the Bureau. We analyzed past BEP competency development efforts, conducted external industry research, and provided recommendations for BEP validation. Next, we implemented our recommendations, which included the creation of stakeholder tools and resources (e.g., Kick-off Briefing, SME Toolkits) to guide them through the process. As a final step, we successfully piloted the new process with one of BEP’s mission critical occupations – the Plate Makers.
We also maintained a high level of stakeholder engagement throughout our work on the workforce planning initiative. We began by conducting best practice research and analyzing lessons learned from past workforce planning efforts. To effectively address stakeholder concerns, we developed high-level “design principles” and business rules to guide the development of BEP’s refined workforce planning process, including: workforce planning goals, benefits, expected stakeholder involvement, and timelines to improve the overall process.
Next, we refined and incorporated the BEP’s workforce planning process into a flexible, user-friendly tool and built standardized resources (i.e., guides, videos, checklists) to better support stakeholders through the process. To accompany these, we developed a reference guide that outlines the workforce planning methodology, timeline, stakeholders, and integration points with other human capital areas (e.g., knowledge management, and learning and development).
Unconventional consulting—and breakthrough results
In one year, BEP has made tremendous progress implementing its priority human capital initiatives.
The resulting BEP Plate Maker competency model provides a clear picture of what it takes to be successful as a Plate Maker (i.e., knowledge, skills, and abilities). These competency models will allow BEP to assess skills gaps, identify job-specific training needs, and make informed decisions around training investments.
BEP will use the finalized workforce planning process to create three-year staffing plans and identify key risks (e.g., loss of specialized knowledge) to be addressed through action planning. Through the process, offices and divisions will be able to better forecast their staffing needs by aligning their strategic goals and documenting future work requirements.
As our implementation work continues, BEP benefits from our highly collaborative approach and seamless execution of complex and inter-related human capital initiatives and tasks. We also continue to emphasize frequent, multi-channel, and easily digestible communications, so that front-line employees can track key progress and understand how the Bureau is addressing their feedback.