Eileen Roark

The best managers are those who value their individual employee’s skills and talents and assign them appropriately. Being in a large organization (like DOD), does not give managers the right to treat their people as faceless “billets” who can be shuffled at will. Good managers also value their long-serving employees, rather than trying to hustle them out. During a Town Hall meeting in my (former) agency, our bosses actually stood up and told the CSRS people to take a hike (i.e., retire), to make room for new hires. I was – and remain – furious about this, and more so because not one person in the audience had the guts to challenge them. Another critical skill of good managers is the ability to put their employee’s needs ahead of their own selfish ambitions. Managers should be there for their employees, not hiding in their offices working on resumes and going on job interviews. In poll after poll, managers in my (former) agency – especially those at the very top – got consistently low marks from the workforce. If the new hires feel that management doesn’t respect and value them as people, they’ll go elsewhere. On the other hand, perhaps the workforce ultimately gets the managers they deserve.