Proactive, Practical Tips Define the Annual 462 Symposium
How do you reduce problems that might escalate into EEO complaints in your office? You have to be proactive.
MicroPact hosted the 17th Annual 462 Symposium on Wednesday, September 5. Attendees included EEO practitioners from 65+ federal offices, who gathered to get prepared and inspired in advance of 462 reporting season. The theme of this year’s event was “Maximizing the EEO Ecosystem,” and all of the presenters spoke to that topic. However, an informal thread started to appear that wove through all of the different presentations and sessions: the importance of taking concrete, proactive steps to stop issues in their tracks.
The day started with an update on the MicroPact ETK EEO and ICOMPLAINTS products. Product Manager Dale Bird walked the attendees through some common issues that practitioners come across when they are running their 462 reports. He also offered practical steps for correcting these issues. Dale then took the opportunity to remind the attendees that running reports monthly, rather than waiting until the October reporting deadline to run them all at once. Being proactive gives practitioners the chance to find and correct any errors in the reports long before the deadline.
Our keynote speaker was Jeffrey Vargas, the Founder and CEO of Generationology. He invited the attendees into a deep conversation about generational differences in the workplace. One of the major points that Jeffrey brought up was the aging of the federal workforce.
Citing statistics that show that only 6.1% of federal employees are under the age of thirty, and only 1.3% are under the age of 25, he encouraged attendees to consider generational differences when training new leaders and building trust within the office. In short, he advised them to be proactive about preparing for the great changes that will necessarily take place as the Baby Boomer generation starts to exit the workplace and leaves younger generations in charge.
Ronda Davis, Training Manager at MicroPact, led a session titled “Adopting New Technologies.” She discussed the steps that an organization can take even before technology adoption to minimize problems and resistance to the project. In addition to her practical tips for the roll-out process, she also led participants through some breathing and stretching exercises based on yoga. The movement and breathing were a nice break from sitting through the sessions, but they were also techniques that attendees can use later to reduce stress at the office—a proactive approach to self-care.
Next up, a panel session titled “Pre-empting EEO Complaints” was all about being proactive. Presenters were Denise McKenney, Commissioner, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS); Willisa Donald, Director, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA); and Cecily Johnson, Affirmative Employment Program Manager, Office of Equity and Diversity, Department of Energy (DoE). Along with moderator Kimberly Kirkpatrick, Director, Resolution and Equity, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, National Institutes of Health (NIH), they discussed ways that Anti-Harassment, Reasonable Accommodation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution programs work in their agencies to stop problems before they escalate to EEO complaints. All of the panelists emphasized the importance of frequent training in order to keep problems from developing in the first place.
The last presenter of the day was Navarro Pulley, Attorney, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). His overview of the building blocks of an effective Anti-Harassment program was a reminder to review policies and procedures to make sure they are compliant and complete. He also recommended preventive measures that organizations can take proactively forestall harassment, including:
- Providing training to managers
- Educating employees
- Utilizing a central system for tracking allegations and record complaints
- Screening applicants for supervisory jobs to see if any have a record of engaging in harassment
The 462 Symposium is a great event that brings together EEO practitioners and experts for networking, inspiration, and preparation for the 462 reporting season. And this year, it was a reminder to be proactive.
MicroPact solutions process 95% of federal EEO claims. Find out more about how our solutions can help you.
In the face of evolving federal labor law, achieving and maintaining annual compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity regulations and reporting requirements can be a monumental challenge. MicroPact’s EEO case management solution was developed specifically to manage the EEO process and generate the Form 462 annual report.
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