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Home Agency News * COO Teri Bristol * Workforce of the Future

Hi everyone.  We’ve often talked about building our Workforce of the Future, which is one of the FAA’s strategic initiatives.  While that’s important, I want to reaffirm the workforce of the present.  Our people – you – are the key to achieving all of our priorities: mitigating safety risk, building NextGen, integrating new user entrants, and enhancing our global leadership. 

        That’s why performance management is so important.  Managers and employees must have continuous, meaningful conversations throughout the year about performance.  A key part of this process is the Mid-cycle review.  We’re entering this period now. 

        As part of this process, let’s ask the questions: What’s going great?  What can be improved?  What resources can we tap to strengthen our skills and abilities?  Our success as an organization comes down to how well we can answer these three questions. 

        What’s going great?  Managers should recognize all of the ways that the employee is making contributions.  Don’t just count the big stuff, but also all the little things, maybe behind the scenes, that add up and move us all forward.  Let’s tell our direct reports and co-workers how much we value and appreciate them.               

        What can be improved?  We have to get good at giving honest feedback.  This can be tough for some people and too often they don’t deal with it.  But it’s what we need to do.  Otherwise little problems become big problems. 

        What resources can we tap to strengthen our skills and abilities?  As managers, we need to coach our employees on how to improve in certain areas.  This includes directing them to available employee development programs and tools, like Program for Emerging Leaders, Career Planning Program, Succession Planning Program, Air Traffic Leadership Development Program, Technical Operations Leadership Development Program, or other kinds of trainings, mentorships, or shadowing opportunities. 

        As of March 31, managers using Valuing Performance, which applies to about 6,900 ATO employees, can now use the new electronic tool called Valuing Performance System, or VPS.  VPS enables managers to create performance plans and submit their ratings and reviews electronically.  Once the manager has submitted plans into VPS, employees can use the system to conduct an optional self-assessment.  We know that the old VPAT system had some problems.  VPS will have a look and feel similar to the more workable Performance Rating Tool (PRT) used during last year’s closeouts. 

        If you’re using VP, you can get more information, including applicable deadlines here.  Also, I encourage you to take advantage of the demo sessions, available live and through Adobe Connect, to learn how to use VPS.

Thanks everyone!


Teri L. Bristol

ATO Chief Operating Officer