Naval Research using training, telework to maintain morale

Will Brown, talent manager, Office of Naval Research

Jolie Lee | June 4, 2015 6:30 pm

The Office of Naval Research is going beyond routine training to invest in its workforce.

In addition to classroom time, employees can go to speaking engagements and complete rotational assignments, including virtual assignments, said Will Brown, talent manager and deputy director of business operations and services at ONR, in an interview with The Federal Drive. Brown was a speaker Tuesday at the Human Capital Management Defense Conference in Arlington, Va.

The result of the training is, he said, “Our employees are motivated, they stay with us and they enjoy what they’re doing.”

ONR also offers what Brown calls a “form of telework” that allows employees not located in Washington to still work for the organization as part of a virtual employee program.


“Some of the people that we want to work for us don’t want to come to D.C. They don’t want to deal with traffic. They don’t want to deal with the politics,” Brown said.

ONR continually asks for feedback from employees, holding focus groups and then developing the ideas from those meetings, Brown said.

Brown said managers must trust their workforce and help them innovate. “What we want to do is stop talking about a job at ONR and start talking about a career in naval research,” he said.

See more coverage of 2012 HCMD Conference