The Federal Coach: Keeping Employees During the Federal Ice Age

Federal managers are facing what some have called the “ice age,” the era of pay and hiring freezes that could have a significant effect on the government workforce.

Like many federal managers, I was in Washington during the last “ice age” and its affects were detrimental. Another hiring freeze would likely leave critical positions unfilled, result in increased staff workload, create a loss of institutional knowledge and make it more difficult to accomplish agency missions.

Keeping your skilled and experienced employees on the job will be more important than ever.

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This state employee hasn’t had an increase in 3 years and our insurance keeps going up BUT I am very happy to be employed; there’s no other jobs out there!

Ilyne Miller

To succeed during times of uncertainty and fear, it is critical to foster an environment where organizational values, particularly openness and collaboration, are embedded in the culture. As well as utilizing knowledge management tools to transfer and capture as much relevant knowledge as possible.

Jenyfer Johnson

@PDW-you summed it up well…most everyone is happy to have a job in today’s economy!!

But what is important is to make employees feel they are a valuable part of the organization; encourage them to improve their programs, make cuts where they can or streamline existing parts of their overall program; praise may not come with $$ but it goes a long way to make someone feel like they are doing their job well and a valuable asset. Lower-level employees should be encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities by managers and managers should take advantage of them as well; there are many online government-funded training courses that we can take for FREE that will give us usable skills to help our organizations.

No one should sit back and feel discouraged. I know it’s hard not to feel this way…I feel it sometimes myself. But this has made me decide to go back to school and finish my degree, knowing my organization will be re-writing Position Descriptions eventually. If I have my degree when my PD is re-written I may be reclassified and it just might be possible (with my duties I’ve taken on since my last PD was written in pre-1994) for a grade increase (hope springs eternal). If nothing else, I’ll have gained new knowledge and completed my degree!