NB_360_22_8 - NB 360-22-8 PER - Release of National Employee Orientation, Development, and Promotion Templates
NB 360-22-8 PER - Release of National Employee Orientation, Development, and Promotion Templates
National Bulletin: 360-22-8  
Date: June 9, 2022 
Subject: PER - Release of National Employee Orientation, Development, and Promotion Templates


 
Purpose.   This bulletin announces the release of templates to guide employee orientation, development, and promotion. These templates are intended to familiarize new and existing employees with NRCS policies, guidance, and procedures, as well as inform supervisors of expectations for consistent communication and engagement with new employees. 
 
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2023 
 
Background.   NRCS values its employees and understands the need to consistently engage and develop its staff. In fiscal year 2021, NRCS onboarded over 1,500 new employees. Because of the volume of employees in the developmental stages, it is imperative that these new employees and their supervisors fully understand policies and guidance concerning orienting, developing, and promoting staff, as well as the expected knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for success and promotion. Some states have established orientation guides and documents for employee development, while others are in the process of developing such guidance.

Recognizing the need for consistency, the Chief established a diverse team to evaluate employee onboarding and development and consider opportunities for improvement that would enhance NRCS’s training development as part of its hiring strategy. The team, coordinating with the Employee Development Section and the FPAC Business Center, used various existing documents as well as resources developed in various states to establish national templates.

A primary goal of the team was to improve the orientation process by developing an employee orientation guide that would serve as a template for offices to customize. The team also worked to draft employee development and promotion guidance for supervisors. All new templates were designed to improve retention by better informing and engaging new and existing employees. 
 
Explanation.  

The orientation template provides topics that are essential for acclimating new employees to NRCS policies and procedures and offers opportunities to customize the content.

The templates for employee development provide standardized plans for growth through the first 2 years. These guides identify competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities by job series) and serve as a complement to performance plans, individual development plans, and the NRCS Career Planner Tool. The development guidance aligns with the promotion templates.

Employee promotion templates communicate the required competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities by job series) expected of employees eligible for career ladder promotions. Career ladder promotions are not solely determined by time-in-grade; rather, eligible employees must also meet certain standards of performance. Multiple job series and grade specific guides were developed to ensure consistent and clear communication of expectations. The templates serve as a method to document and record that an employee has met specified competencies and has the requisite skills for a career ladder promotion.

All templates can be modified to meet state-specific needs; if modified, documents should be 508 compliant. Your state point of contact will be responsible for ensuring 508 compliance. Template documents can be found on the Regional Conservationist SharePoint page under “Professional Development: Training + Career Resources.”


Contact.   If there are questions or updates needed to the guides, please contact Rebecca Salazar, Management & Strategy Deputy Area at rebecca.salazar@usda.gov or Jade Nield, Management & Strategy Deputy Area at jade.nield@usda.gov 
 
 

 /s/

ANGELA BIGGS
Acting Deputy Chief for Management & Strategy


ASTOR BOOZER
Regional Conservationist, West


KAREN WOODRICH
Acting Regional Conservationist, Northeast


XAVIER MONTOYA
Acting Regional Conservationist, Central


JAMES E. TILLMAN, JR.
Regional Conservationist, Southeast 

List of Templates Found on the Regional Conservationist SharePoint page Professional Development: Training + Career Resources

 

National Employee Orientation Template

 

National Development Guide 401 Natural Resource Specialist Cropland vFeb2022

National Development Guide 401 Natural Resource Specialist Rangeland vFeb2022

National Development Guide 454 Range Management Specialist vFeb2022

National Development Guide 457 Soil Conservationist vFeb2022

National Development Guide 470 Soil Scientist vFeb2022

National Development Guide 458 Soil Conservation Technician vFeb2022

National Development Guide 802 Civil Engineering Technician vFeb2022

National Development Guide 810 Civil Agricultural Engineer vFeb2022

 

National Promotion Guide 401 Natural Resource Specialist Cropland GS5-7, GS7-9 vFeb2022

National Promotion Guide 401 Natural Resource Specialist Range Grassland GS5-7, GS7-9 vFeb2022

National Promotion Guide 454 Range Management Specialist GS5-7, GS7-9 vFeb2022

National Promotion Guide 457 District Conservationist GS11-12 vFeb2022

National Promotion Guide 457 Soil Conservationist GS5-7, GS7-9 vFeb2022

National Promotion Guide 458 Soil Conservation Technician GS5-6, GS6-7, GS7-8 vFeb2022

National Promotion Guide 470 Soil Scientist GS5-7, GS7-9 vFeb2022

National Promotion Guide 802 Engineering Technician (Civil) GS7-8 vFeb2022
National Promotion Guide 810 Civil Agricultural Engineer GS7-9, GS9-11 vFeb2022

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