Diversity and Inclusion Plan, Fiscal Year (FY) 2010—2015
USGS Mission and Vision
Mission: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.
Vision: The USGS has become a world leader in the natural sciences because of our scientific excellence and responsiveness to society's needs.
Why Diversity Matters
In January of 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report (GAO-05-90) titled, “Diversity Management: Expert-Identified Leading Practices and Agency Examples.” According to the report, high-performance organizations typically (1) foster a work environment in which people are enabled and motivated to contribute to mission accomplishments; and (2) provide both accountability and fairness for all employees. To accomplish these objectives, high-performance organizations are inclusive, drawing on the strengths of employees at all levels and of all backgrounds—an approach consistent with diversity management.
Leveraging diversity makes the USGS a more effective organization by helping us attract and retain a highly skilled workforce. The USGS Diversity Statement also recognizes the importance of the “people” aspect of diversity—“All employees bring their own unique capabilities, experiences, and characteristics to their work. And as an employee, it is your responsibility to treat coworkers, stakeholders, and customers with respect and dignity. We must strive to create and foster a supportive and understanding environment in which each employee can realize maximum potential, regardless of differences.” Simply put, leveraging diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do. As the demographics of our Nation change, so will our workforce and so must our approach to diversity.
Diversity and Inclusion Plan (DaIP) Development
On August 16, 2010, the Secretary issued the “Inclusive Workplace Strategy” that states “…We [DOI] have the potential to be the most attractive Federal agency to work for—an agency in which people strive to improve their ideas, work products, and decisions by seeking out different points of view, perspectives and ideas. We have as much to learn from one another as we do from the natural world we manage.” In addition to the Secretary’s statement, the USGS Diversity Statement, re-issued July 2, 2010, affirms our commitment to “employing the best people to do the best job possible and recognize the importance of reflecting the diversity of our customers and our Nation.”
Understanding and recognizing diversity enables an organization to more effectively capitalize on the differing views and contributions that each employee brings to the workplace. Such an organization provides for a richer work environment and ensures that employees work more closely with one another to achieve the mission and goals of the USGS.
The DaIP comprises three strategic goals: Retain and Recruit; Be Accountable and Responsible; and Understand, Engage, Include and Share. Initiatives are presented along with measures to monitor and track progress.
Strategic Goal/Objective 1: Retain and Recruit
The USGS must be viewed as an employer of choice to remain a premier agency that retains and attracts the best and the brightest employees. Steps must be taken to educate present and future employees about how achieving a diverse workforce will help reach this goal.
The USGS must develop retention programs and recruitment/outreach strategies that support our goal of being an employer of choice and one of the “Best Places to Work.” Our goal is to increase workforce diversity at the USGS while retaining the talent we need today and in the future. We must increase our use of both hiring flexibilities and workplace flexibilities to address issues of diversity and inclusion.
- Senior leaders, Center Directors, and supervisors/managers actively implement Department of the Interior (DOI) and USGS retention and diversity/inclusion programs and initiatives by:
- Applying hiring flexibilities/authorities and recruitment strategies to actively build a diverse applicant pool;
- Reviewing Employee Viewpoint Survey results to identify actions to be taken to help address areas of concern;
- Reviewing exit survey results to determine ways to address any departure patterns that may link to employee job satisfaction;
- Implementing outreach and recruitment efforts to minority-serving institutions, and institutions with diverse student populations to promote the USGS mission, vision and functions;
- Developing and implementing an outreach plan to support all community segments (e.g., veterans, persons with disabilities, minorities, youth, women, etc.) for recruitment, information sharing, networking (creating connections) and public relations;
- Personally mentoring, coaching and/or providing a support network to individuals from diverse backgrounds to build rapport, increase diversity awareness and sensitivity, and to pass on critical institutional knowledge;
- Ensuring that employees participate in formal career development activities and have individual development plans when needed and/or requested;
- Encouraging staff to seek opportunities for more complex assignments, special projects, committees, diversity council activities, and acting assignments; and,
- Supporting merit and performance-based rewards and recognition that promote excellence at all levels of the organization.
- The Office of Communications and the Associate Director for Human Capital will work with hiring officials to promote the USGS by developing name branding materials for use at conferences, workshops, professional society meetings, etc. This group will also develop educational, career, and visual materials that promote workforce diversity, inform the public of the USGS’s mission, and strengthen ties with relevant professional societies.
- Use employee networks (Diversity Council and affinity groups) to assist in achieving diversity goals through educational opportunities, communications, and external activities. Encourage all employees to participate and share their ideas, giving them “buy-in” to help strengthen the workforce diversity of the USGS.
- Appoint and train diversity change agents.
- The Associate Director for Human Capital will ensure exit survey results are reviewed, and the data are used to inform Human Resources policies regarding creating and sustaining a rewarding work environment. The Associate Director for Human Capital will develop retention recommendations based on exit survey and Employee Viewpoint Survey results.
- The Office of Organizational and Employee Development (OED) will develop focused mentoring and employee development programs that enhance the employment opportunities for employees of diverse backgrounds.
- Increase in the diversity of USGS SCEPS/STEPS—measured by Race, National Origin, Gender and Disability (RNOGD) statistics.
- Increase in the percentage of employees in our workforce in groups with low participation rates—measured by RNOGD statistics.
- Increase in the retention of employees in groups with low participation rates.
- Percent of improvement in USGS’s “Best Places to Work” results in the following areas: Effective Leadership/Empowerment; Support for Diversity; and Work/Life Balance.
Strategic Goal/Objective 2: Be Accountable and Responsible
Leaders are responsible for acting as change agents and modeling behaviors which support the creation of a future state which maximizes the contributions and abilities of employees as they fulfill organizational goals. Leaders are responsible for ensuring that:
- Appropriate workplace behaviors are supported;
- Systems, policies, and practices support the USGS vision;
- The USGS Guiding Principles are integrated into the way of life of the organization;
- The organizational culture and its systems support the USGS vision and are responsive to environmental changes;
- The environment is inclusive;
- Empowering, influencing, and enabling others is practiced;
- Employee suggestions for improvement of the workforce are encouraged and considered; and,
- Managing diversity is incorporated into other organizational change initiatives, such as restructuring, communications, education, and partnerships.
Every employee is responsible for focusing on inclusion and appropriate and supportive workplace behavior. Each employee need not embrace all the differences of our external customers and within the USGS workforce, but we must learn to acknowledge, accept, and understand that similarities and differences do exist and to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Each employee can help create a positive work environment by identifying and working to change practices that exclude segments of our workforce and by identifying behaviors that offend, isolate, stereotype, and/or create a hostile working environment. Every employee affects organizational outcomes, thus when each employee works on managing diversity, the USGS will move closer to an environment where all ideas and perspectives are considered to meet our mission more effectively.
- Advance the USGS’s compliance with the DOI annually required 4-hours of diversity training for all managers/supervisors.
- The Department’s Executive Resources Board approved a diversity advocacy performance statement for inclusion in all Senior Executive Service (SES) performance plans—starting in FY 2010. The statement clarifies the Department’s expectations for executive performance on diversity-related issues. The statement reads as follows:
“Promotes workforce diversity, provides fair and equitable recognition and equal opportunity, and promptly and appropriately address allegations of harassment and discrimination.”
The USGS Director/Deputy Director will engage the Executive Leadership Team in an exercise that shares and analyzes the effectiveness of accomplishments achieved by all SES managers under this mandate.
- Promote DOI and USGS Diversity Awards to recognize managers/supervisors, executives, and non-supervisors who support innovative approaches to improving our workforce diversity and creating an inclusive workplace environment.
- Create a process by which managers are recognized and rewarded for their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion activities and events. An example would be developing Office or Area diversity awards.
- Percent of managers that complete the DOI annual diversity training requirement
- Percent of improvement in USGS’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results in the following areas: Creativity and innovation are rewarded; policies and programs promote diversity in the workplace; and managers/supervisors/team leaders work well with employees of different backgrounds.
- Report USGS-wide accomplishments/success on the SES-performance element regarding Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity.
Strategic Goal/Objective 3:Understand, Engage, Include, and Share
A critical component in the process of building and maintaining a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment is teaching supervisors, managers, and employees the value and business necessity of diversity and inclusion. A variety of approaches, including training and delivery options, geared toward the various sectors of the workforce will be necessary to obtain the desired impact. Assessments will be used to determine the value and success of the different training and delivery options in meeting the goals and objectives of the USGS.
- The OED and the Office of Equal Opportunity will develop, obtain, and offer a variety of diversity and inclusion training options for supervisors, managers, and employees. These options will be offered in various media. The Bureau Diversity Change Agents and the Diversity Council will be consulted for their perspectives on the types of training and materials that resonate best with the workforce to achieve the desired impact.
- Senior leaders, Center Directors, and supervisors/managers will seek out opportunities to improve their workforce’s understanding of what diversity and inclusion is, and the benefits of a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment. In addition, they will demonstrate their support for the goals and objectives by conducting or sponsoring diversity-related activities and events, and by initiating or supporting open and honest discussion. These leaders will have the opportunity to compete for funding to support their diversity and inclusion activities and events.
- The USGS will use pre- and post-training evaluations and assessments to ensure the most effective materials and media are being used to educate all employees on diversity and inclusion.
- Training evaluations indicate an increased understanding of diversity and inclusion principles.
- Number of supervisors, managers, and employees who receive diversity and inclusion training each fiscal year.
- Number of diversity related activities and events initiated or sponsored by senior leaders, Center Directors, and supervisors/managers. These leaders may use the Diversity Matrix to document diversity and inclusion activities and events.
- Percent of improvement in USGS’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results in the following areas: Creativity and innovation are rewarded; policies and programs promote diversity in the workplace; managers/supervisors/team leaders work well with employees of different backgrounds; and supervisor/team leader is committed to a workforce representative of all segments of society
Most key leadership decisions are difficult to measure or cannot be measured or quantified statistically. Benefits such as discovery, innovation, and creativity do not always provide such results but are reflective of a positive work environment. In addition, because it is anticipated that culture change may take a decade or more, the time period of measurement must be long enough to allow for true organizational learning and change; premature measures may yield erroneous results.