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Office of Personnel Management

OPM is responsible for several broad categories such as employee recruitment and retention and oversees the overall federal workforce including managing, job announcement postings at USAJOBS.gov and setting governmentwide policies on hiring procedures.
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DMBrown11  
#1 Posted : Friday, October 20, 2017 5:03:51 PM(UTC)

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We are all GS13s in my office of 9, plus 2 GS14 supervisors. We had a new hire come on board 3 weeks ago, and she was made the team lead of 3 employees. She wasn't hired to be a supervisor, there was no lead or supervisory position posted, she doesn't posses any particular special skills or experience, and most in the office have been GS13s with the agency for years.

I believe there is a rule that a team lead is to be at least 1 grade level above the team being led. Does anyone know if this is the case?
computerscott2  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, October 24, 2017 3:33:48 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DMBrown11 Go to Quoted Post
We are all GS13s in my office of 9, plus 2 GS14 supervisors. We had a new hire come on board 3 weeks ago, and she was made the team lead of 3 employees. She wasn't hired to be a supervisor, there was no lead or supervisory position posted, she doesn't posses any particular special skills or experience, and most in the office have been GS13s with the agency for years.

I believe there is a rule that a team lead is to be at least 1 grade level above the team being led. Does anyone know if this is the case?


No that is not true. In my career I have held 2 supervisory positions where I had employees at the same grade as me (i.e. I was a GS-13 supervising GS-13's and 12's). Team leads can have duties that cause their positions to rate a grade higher but it is also possible for the score to fall just short of being the next grade up (i.e. if the grading scale for a GS-13 is 1200-1400 and the position rated out at 1395 points, then it is not enough to justify a grade increase.)
Tic3  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, October 24, 2017 12:21:54 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DMBrown11 Go to Quoted Post
Can team lead be same grade as all team members?


Why, yes. Yes they can.
HR Bubba  
#4 Posted : Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:43:22 AM(UTC)

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First, classification makes my head hurt! My first question would be "is the position actually classified as a team lead or is this just an organizational title?"; I suspect it is the latter. Without going to deep into classification, to be classified as team lead the position must meet the requirements of the General Schedule Leader Grade Evaluation Guide (GSLG). I am assuming that the work we are talking about is 2 grade interval work (e.g., normal progression would be GS-5, 7, 9 etc.) and if that is correct then you would use Part II of the GSLG to classify the lead duties. A key point regarding classifying this position is determining the "base level" of work being accomplished and there are a couple of excerpts that I think are pertinent" 1) Under Part II, Team Leader positions are classified one full GS grade level (in a two-grade interval pattern) above the highest grade level of GS-09 or higher (nonsupervisory and nonleader) work led which is carried out for 25% or more of the time by team members and 2) Exclude from Consideration as Base Level - Work the grade level of which is based on an extraordinary degree of independence from supervision or personal accomplishment. In my opinion, someone who is working at the GS-13 level is a technical expert and they are probably afforded an "extraordinary degree of independence from supervision or personal accomplishment". Therefore, I would not use GS-13 as the base level of work being accomplished by this unit. If the argument is that these GS-13 positions do not have an extraordinary degree of independence from supervision or personal accomplishment, then perhaps these positions should be re-evaluated before a classification determination is made with regard to the lead position.

In Summary, Team Leader positions are classified one full GS grade level above the highest grade level of GS-09 or higher work led (base level), but as you can see from the other information I posted, the answer may not be that simple.
Eric_Fed  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, February 3, 2021 1:44:19 PM(UTC)
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Elaborating what HR Bubba said (I know this post is old, but it's important info):

This person is NOT officially a Team Lead. To get the classification of a Team Lead you have to meet very specific criteria, and if you meet those criteria then you MUST be classified as one grade level above the work of those you are leading. In the very unlikely chance they actually meet the technical criteria, they should call a desk audit and fight for the higher grade, because they are being under paid. But that's almost certainly not true (see below).

Your supervisor is free to have one or another member of the group do different work than other members, and that work could include coordinating things other people's work in various ways, and that's fine. Your supervisor can INFORMALLY call that person a "lead", and that's fine too.

Given you are doing "two grade" work, this would be the OPM Criteria:

At a minimum, Team Leaders perform all of the first seven (7) coaching, facilitating and mentoring
duties and a total of fourteen (14) of the twenty (20) duties listed below:

1. Ensure that the organization=s strategic plan, mission, vision and values are communicated to
the team and integrated into the team's strategies, goals, objectives, work plans and work
products and services;
2. Articulate and communicate to the team the assignment, project, problem to be solved,
actionable events, milestones, and/or program issues under review, and deadlines and time
frames for completion;
3. Coach the team in the selection and application of appropriate problem solving methods and
techniques, provide advice on work methods, practices and procedures, and assist the team
and/or individual members in identifying the parameters of a viable solution;
4. Lead the team in: identifying, distributing and balancing workload and tasks among
employees in accordance with established work flow, skill level and/or occupational
specialization; making adjustments to accomplish the workload in accordance with
established priorities to ensure timely accomplishment of assigned team tasks; and ensuring
that each employee has an integral role in developing the final team product;
5. Train or arrange for the training of team members in methods and techniques of team
building and working in teams to accomplish tasks or projects, and provide or arrange for
specific administrative or technical training necessary for accomplishment of individual and
team tasks;
6. Monitor and report on the status and progress of work, checking on work in progress and
reviewing completed work to see that the supervisor=s instructions on work priorities,
methods, deadlines and quality have been met;
7. Serve as coach, facilitator and/or negotiator in coordinating team initiatives and in consensus
building activities among team members;
8. Maintain program and administrative reference materials, project files and relevant background documents and make available policies, procedures and written instructions from the
supervisor; maintain current knowledge to answer questions from team members on procedures, policies, directives, etc.;
9. Prepare reports and maintain records of work accomplishments and administrative
information, as required, and coordinate the preparation, presentation and communication of
work-related information to the supervisor;
10. Represent the team in dealings with the supervisor or manager for the purpose of obtaining
resources (e.g., computer hardware and software, use of overtime or compensatory time), and
securing needed information or decisions from the supervisor on major work problems and
issues that arise;
11. Report to the supervisor periodically on team and individual work accomplishments,
problems, progress in mastering tasks and work processes, and individual and team training
needs;
12. Represent the team consensus and convey the team=s findings and recommendations in
meetings and dealings with other team leaders, program officials, the public and other
customers on issues related to or that have an impact on the team=s objectives, work products
and/or tasks;
13. Estimate and report to the team on progress in meeting established milestones and deadlines
for completion of assignments, projects and tasks, and ensure that all team members are
aware of and participate in planning for achievement of team goals and objectives;
14. Research, learn and apply a wide range of qualitative and/or quantitative methods to identify,
assess, analyze and improve team effectiveness, efficiency and work products;
15. Lead the team in assessing its strengths and weaknesses and provide leadership to the team in
exploring alternatives and determining what improvements can be made (e.g., in work
methods, processes and procedures);
16. Approve emergency leave for up to three days; eight hours or less for medical appointments;
and/or other types of leave as delegated by management;
17. Resolve simple, informal complaints of employees and refer others, such as formal
grievances and appeals, to the supervisor or an appropriate management official;
18. Communicate team consensus and recommendations to the supervisor on actions affecting
team and individual awards, rewards and recognition;
19. Inform employees of available employee benefits, services and work related activities;
20. Intercede with the supervisor on behalf of the team to inform the supervisor of performance
management issues/problems and to recommend/request related actions, such as:
assignments, reassignments, promotions, tour of duty changes, peer reviews and performance
appraisals.

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