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Key Strategies to Dealing with the New Normal for Government Agencies and Contractors

Have you ever noticed how often in life signs all point in the same direction?

The same issues keep coming up; the same themes keep reappearing? It’s as though the message carries such extreme importance that we are destined to sit up and take notice.

If you’ve been following my blog posts over the last couple of months, you’ll likely recognize that I keep repeating the same messages in different ways: communication and employee engagement. Often, those two themes are intertwined in my posts, as they are in real life.

Open and transparent communications from the top down, in any organization, impact the entire organization in a positive way; no more so than in hiring, on boarding and retaining engaged employees. These valuable assets, whom your organization spent much time recruiting and training, are at an important crossroads when they join your organization. How well your values, mission and goals mission and goals are communicated; how quickly that new employee can learn and embrace your culture, the more likely you have created an engaged employee.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2014 GovCon Symposium: Success Strategies for Surviving in the “New Normal”, sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. Not only was it an opportunity to network and to learn, the topics covered absolutely cemented my belief that the two messages I’ve been hammering are right on the money.

For instance, here are just a few of my observations following the Symposium:

  1. Thankfully, Congress passed the first budget since 1986; however, both government officials and government contractors are still dealing with the impact of sequestration.
  2. There are significant challenges to the government contracting process, with contracting officers feeling like contractors are unable to differentiate themselves and contractors feeling like it is difficult to engage the government in conversation to more effectively understand their requirements.
  3. One of the keys to success for any size company is to provide the infrastructure to recruit, on board, and train passionate employees.
  4. Senior leaders need to be visible at interact with employees on an ongoing basis.
  5. Be clear on what kind of culture you want to create: innovator, economic leader or client-centric. Take specific steps to reinforce your unique culture.
  6. Provide training for middle managers to help translate vision to front-line employees.
  7. Solicit input from employees to help solve organization’s big problems.
  8. Encourage employees to act like owners in thinking strategically and making decisions.
  9. Involve key stakeholders in decision-making process to avoid last-minute changes in rework.
  10. Trust is the key to getting and keeping top talent, transparent communication is critical to developing trust; including providing regular updates on key milestones.

Communication and openness, especially as they relate to employees, is the new mission critical. If this is the “new normal”, what steps are you taking to make sure that you stay ahead of other organizations that your potential new hire can join? How are you using communication as effectively as possible, within all levels of your organization?

One thing is for certain, not every executive will rise to these challenges expeditiously. Bottom line revenues, executive orders, and the day to day issues that arise can keep us all from doing the things that ensure future success. Breaking those patterns often requires the help of an expert.

Boxer Advisors is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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