Daily Dose: Leadership Remains One of the Lowest Ranked Federal Workplace Categories

Yesterday evening, Tom Fox reported that according to the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings, leadership remains to be one of the lowest ranked categories. Why are federal leaders receiving these low scores of 54.9 out of 100?

Our government leaders, particularly the political and career senior executives, performed poorly when it came to engaging employees in decision-making affecting their work, sharing information about what’s going on in their agencies and motivating their folks to go the extra mile.

How can federal leaders improve these rankings? Fox suggests that they check out the FDIC and Mint, whose leadership scores increased more than 25% in the past year. Actions included increasing communication with field offices and give employees more flexibility.

What else can federal leaders do to improve their rankings? Here were some suggestions:

– Seek input and explain decisions

– Share decision-making, and clear the path for employee engagement

– Focus on the mission, and work hard to achieve a common goal

What are your suggestions for federal leaders?

How can these rankings be improved across the board?

Improving your agency’s leadership clout among employees


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great stories in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send them to[email protected].

Previous Daily Dose posts:

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Program to Diminish Veterans Homelessness Faces Obstacles

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Andy Lowenthal

It’s also important to note that effective leadership is the #1 driver of employee satisfaction and engagement. This is a perennial challenge, in my opinion, because of a fundamental human resources issue. Generally speaking, government struggles with performance management, and especially how to coach its managers and executives when they are exhibiting a deficit of leadership behaviors. I think part of the reason is there hasn’t been a data-driven approach to performance management or agency high-priority performance goals until very recently. In high-performing organizations, promotions are not automatic and performance feedback is not perfunctory. Let’s keep striving for ethical and inspirational public leaders — it’s too important not to.

Corey McCarren

I imagine it has a lot to do with organizational culture. Bureaucracy inherently isn’t very transparent, and if leadership is being ranked based on engagement and information sharing it makes sense that it is lacking. I think it will take more than just changing the way a few individuals behave — it’ll take some reculturing.

Stephen Peteritas

what Corey said is really true… the structure of the organization deans’ lend itself to great leadership nor does the system do a great job of grooming leaders as they move up.