With the freeze of pay in the air, there are sure to be federal employees – particularly soon to be retirees- asking the question (or humming The Clash,) Should I stay or should I go?
Managers should not give up hope. Today in their joint “Keeping Talent” report, the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton offer some strategies because: “Keeping the right talent, those who are motivated and have the skills that match job requirements, is potentially more critical than ever for federal agencies to perform at a high level and to meet the needs of the American public.”
In an interview about the report on Federal News Radio, today Ron Sanders, the Former Chief Human Capital Officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and, of course, a member of ASTD’s board of directors, said public managers can not only compete with the private sector on the intangibles. Sanders, who’s currently Senior Executive Advisor for Booz Allen Hamilton, says public managers can trump the private sector. Managers must remember to:
- Connect with employees and tie their individual work to the larger agency mission
- Reward employees who perform well
- Invest in supervisors so that they develop leadership skills
- Make accountable employees who underperform
Be armed against attrition. Managers should utilize social media and other tools to share organizational values, empower and engage their best leaders and enhance communication. That way people will “stay, just a little bit longer” or, perhaps, make a career of public service.
“Keeping Talent” notes that there are significant consequences to attrition:
“[T]he loss of significant and specialized knowledge and experience which can be difficult or impossible to replace. Consider, for example, the cost and feasibility of replacing a senior cancer researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or a cybersecurity expert at the National Security Agency (NSA), or a retiring chief meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center. Good employees [also] may leave behind demoralized co-workers—a deterioration of employee commitment and organizational loyalty.”
Also, you can forget being able to fill their jobs if a hiring freeze is enacted.
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