WEPO: WEPO News Bulletin | September 2019

WEPO header

Work Environment and Performance Office (WEPO) continues to evolve as we guide, support, and lead the agency as a values-based, relationship-focused, purpose-driven organization.

Visit us on the Web at: http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/wepo/.  

Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, from September 15th through October 15th we observe Hispanic Heritage Month. The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers announced this year’s theme: Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation. It is a time to celebrate the success of generations of Hispanics who have enriched our nation’s heritage. Representing over 17 percent of our population and rapidly growing, Hispanic Americans enrich our communities, our nation, our world, and our workplace.

Jacinto Damien “J.D.” Reyes was among pioneering Hispanics hired as a ranger by the Forest Service. He entered the Forest Service in September 1900, and retired on October 31, 1931, at the age of 60. Click ahead to read more about J.D.

For more information, visit the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion SharePoint site. One of the newest tools posted is a special observance calendar. Notice when you hover over an icon/image, a hand appears and once clicked it will link you directly to the related page and resources on the DE&I SharePoint site. The calendar is both interactive and printable.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Fall Series

The 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction fall series kicks off Tuesday, October 15 and runs to December 3, 2019.

In service of supporting our employees and ensuring each and every one of us is valued, respected, safe and enjoys a sense of belonging, we encourage you to sign up for the MBSR 8-week course. MBSR can improve resiliency, job satisfaction, job performance, and leadership qualities. MBSR reduces symptoms of burnout and exhaustion, and helps you cope with major life stressors.

Mindfulness is a practice in which we take pause to pay attention to the experiences around and within us. As humans, our minds are constantly reliving the past and planning the future, but unfortunately, not being in the present can be detrimental to our health. Practicing mindfulness helps you focus on the here and now which can have a major impact on your work effectiveness and help you find peace, joy, and satisfaction in all that you do.

Click ahead for more information on this series.

Participants must obtain supervisor approval prior to participating in this course. When you sign up, it is assumed you have approval from your supervisor. There is no need to show formal documentation.

Icon - Question Mark

To join, respond by October 3, 2019 to Michelle Reugebrink, michelle.reugebrink@usda.gov. You’ll be added to the mailing list to receive access to recordings, materials, and communication during the course. 


Icon - Attention

The mindfulness and resiliency program offers monthly guided meditations and webinars. Check the mindfulness and resiliency SharePoint site for the most current offerings.


Mindfulness and Resiliency Webinar: Mindfulness Communication

Find out tips to respond to conflict with openness and patience. The most important takeaway is having an outlet to work with strong emotions in the heat of the moment instead of acting on urges that might end up creating or intensifying problems. Work with your strong emotions so that you can have more choices on choosing your response and next steps.


             Thursday, September 12, 2019

             9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Alaska (AKDT)
             10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Pacific (PDT)
             11:00 am. – 12:00 p.m. Mountain (MDT)
             12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Central (CDT)
             1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Eastern (EDT) & Atlantic Standard (AST)

How to join:   

             Adobe Connect: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/cr-1000/

Call-in number:

             1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633, Passcode: 0934970##

Hosted and presented by:

             Michelle Reugebrink, Mindfulness and Resiliency Program Manager, Work Environment and Performance Office, NBHWC, IHCP, ICF-PCC, ACE-CPT, MBSR (Certified)

Interested in Becoming a Leadership Development Coach?

Learning coaches provide coaching to the Forest Service Middle Leader Program and Senior Leader Program participants for their professional development during the program period. Coaches, who serve as a collateral duty, help employees achieve their personal and professional best. We are looking to increase our team of learning coaches.

Employees in grades GS-13 and above are eligible to apply to become a coach. Coaches are selected for training using a competitive process. If selected, you will be required to attend a three-day, in-person training. If you are interested in applying to be a coach, please complete the application online by September 23, 2019.

Icon - Question Mark

For more information, visit the WEPO Training & Employee Development webpage and scroll to the Leadership Development section, or contact Diane M. Wheeler at 505-944-4060, or diane.m.wheeler@usda.gov.

Training Opportunity: Generational Differences in the Workplace

Have you ever thought about the central influences of Baby Boomers? Or why they call Generation X by that name? What characteristics and values do Millennials bring to the workplace? What are some stereotypes for these and other generations? Join us for a discussion on how to understand the distinct characteristics of each generation and the likely impacts on workplace behaviors.  

Understanding the experiences and events of each generation and how they impact individual and organizational work values can help bridge the challenges we face of being a multigenerational workforce.  understanding may lead to a more inclusive and respectful work environment.


             Monday, September 23, 2019

             10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Alaska (AKDT)
             11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific (PDT)
             12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Mountain (MDT)
             1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Central (CDT)
             2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern (EDT) & Atlantic Standard (AST)

How to Join:

             In-person: Albuquerque Service Center, 4000 Masthead, Room 121
             Adobe Connect: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/cr-1000/
             Call-in number: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633; Access code: 0776497##

Presented by:

             Dr. Jenna Crabb, Director of Career Services, University of New Mexico

Icon - Question Mark

For information about assistive technology and alternative format requests, contact Fidel Trujillo at fidel.trujillo@usda.gov.


Training Opportunity: Communicating Effectively During the Performance Appraisal Process

End-of-year performance appraisals are coming. These discussions are often challenging, and can sometimes be stressful. Effective communication can change the climate of these conversations, creating a space for meaningful and productive dialogue. Join us to learn some new techniques and share ways to make this process more valuable by communicating respectfully.


             Wednesday, September 25, 2019

             9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Alaska (AKDT)
             10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Pacific (PDT)
             11:00 am. – 12:30 p.m. Mountain (MDT)
             12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Central (CDT)
             1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Eastern (EDT) & Atlantic Standard (AST)

How to join    

             Adobe Connect: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/cr-500/
             Call-in number: 1-888-844-9904; Access code: 6715754#

Hosted and presented by:   

             Linda Burroughs-Glover, Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist, Conflict Management and Prevention Center Manager for the WO, LEI, and ENT

Training Opportunity: Develop the Coaching Habit

This webinar will focus on how managers can change the way they lead and improve communications with their employees by asking the right questions. The tools provided will help managers to get the best out of themselves and others.


             Wednesday, September 18, 2019

             9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Alaska (AKDT)
             10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Pacific (PDT)
             11:00 am. – 12:30 p.m. Mountain (MDT)
             12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Central (CDT)
             1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Eastern (EDT) & Atlantic Standard (AST)

How to join:

             Adobe Connect: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/cr-1000/
             Call-in number: 1-888-844-9904; Access code: 6715754#

Hosted by:

             Linda Burroughs-Glover, Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist, Conflict Management and Prevention Center Manager for the WO, LEI, and ENT

Presented by:

             Markette Murphy, Conflict Management and Prevention Center Manager for Region 5 and PSW

Become a Forest Service Mentor
The National Mentoring Program is accepting mentor applications from GS-7 through GS-15 employees. Mentors share valuable professional experience and insight while providing guidance to aspiring and inspiring mentees. Mentors serve as role models, providing direction and support to the protégés employee development journey. Mentors give back to the agency by investing in the future of the Forest Service.

Reasons to become a mentor:

  • Improve succession planning by developing employees
  • Only takes 15 percent or less of official time
  • Pass knowledge from one generation of workers to another
  • Help employees develop as professionals by improving their skills in translating values and strategies into productive actions
  • Improve retention of existing employees
  • Convey the agency’s values, commitments, and expectations - This is Who We Are
  • Helps you continue to develop as a leader

Mentors will use 01 time when mentoring. No special job code is required.

Icon - Attention

Supervisor approval is required before you can apply to the program. To apply, complete a mentor application online.


Icon - Question Mark

For questions, send an email to FS-TED Mentoring Program.


Apply for the National Senior Leader Program or External Leadership Developmental Opportunities

The National Senior Leader Program Class 15 (SLP15) and external Leadership Developmental Opportunities programs are accepting applications for fiscal year 2020.

These are competency-based development programs for high-potential employees who have an interest in enhancing their leadership behaviors and who have demonstrated the ability to progress into a higher leadership role. All programs are limited to employees with at least one year of full-time, permanent service at the time of application.

Applications are being accepted for:

  • National Senior Leader Program Class 15 (SLP15)
  • Senior Managers in Government (SMG)
  • Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS)
  • Senior Executive Fellows (SEF)
  • LEGIS Congressional Fellowship

For more information, including unit POCs and application documents, visit the WEPO Training and Employee Development website. Scroll to the Leadership Development section and select either “Senior Leader Program,” or “Leadership Development Opportunities.”

Icon - Question Mark

For questions, contact Cathy Earl, SLP/LDO Program Manager, Work Environment and Performance Office, Training and Employee Development Branch, at 505-944-4028, or cathy.earl@usda.gov.


OPM Webinar Series: Engaging Employees in FEVS Results

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will host a series of webinars focusing on how to engage employees on Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results. Webinar topics include: linking FEVS data analysis to organizational outcomes; framework for presenting FEVS results to leaders; and long-term FEVS action planning.

Who should attend? Supervisors, managers, and any employee looking for effective strategies and techniques to assess and improve employee engagement.

Please see the attached flyer for information on webinar topics and registration links.

WEPO News Bulletin contact: Kelsey Pike, Acting Staff Assistant, WEPO