That question - "How can I convince my colleagues to stick around?" - -was posed by an audience member at an event that I attended this morning which launched a new report called "Keeping Talent: Strategies for Retaining Valued Federal Employees." The report was produced by the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton, and reveals challenges and strategies for agencies who are facing significant attrition rates right now and for the foreseeable future.
Here are some of my notes from the event:
- There is a disconnect between line managers and human resources staff members in terms of how they think about retention...and this gap leads to discontent among employees.
- The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is being used as a helpful use it as an environmental assessment
- One of the main reasons employees are leaving: "My skills are not being used effectively in the workplace"
- Here are five key points that agencies need to consider with regard to retention:
1. Who is at risk? Which employees are prone to bolt?
2. What are you doing now?
3. What more do you need to be doing?
4. How are you developing, implementing, and marketing what you are doing?
5. How are measuring and evolving?
The moderator for the event was Dr. Ron Sanders of Booz Allen Hamilton. Panelists were:
- Larry Mack, Deputy for Strategic Management of Human Capital, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Jerry W. Simpson, Associate Director, Workforce Development, National Park Service
- David Tumblin, Workforce Analysis, Research Metrics, Office of Human Capital, TSA
Q: Why worry about attrition?
- TSA: as economy picks up, attrition will coincide
- CFTC: Dodd-Frank legislation helped Commodity Futures Trading Commission, dropped attrition from 15-20% to 6%; How did they do it? Full performance and pay scale review (competing against Wall Street, big banks, and other regulatory firms), report shared agency-wide (transparency), a lifecycle program (what would you like for this life cycle to cover?) and focus groups: what can we do to keep you?
- NPS: Haven't had to worry about retention lately, "retirement tsunami" cresting now whereas many people stayed for 50 years in the past
- "Many outside DC don't understand how thin/depleted we are in government..."; CFTC: press and legislation helped- TSA: hiring processes remain healthy
Q from crowd: we've been here a long time, many 50 years old, Repubs threatening to cut, freezes on the horizon, what can we do to keep our friends to stay?
A: TSA not having a problem b/c 65K hire in 2003, CFTC bringing back folks as contractors, NPS graying...no quick fixes, a lot of data crunching and real demonstrations of a desire to retain...one of top complaints: supervisors not very goodEmployee Viewpoint Survey really important...starts from top (Exec Level Committee), focus groups...just hired a Chief Learning Officer (CLO)
Q to Crowd: What's working?
- CBO moved to phased retirement...then move to part-time. NASA has an example, too...
There has been legislation introduced for phased retirement...but always stalled.
Q: "Do rotations work?"
A - NPS is creating a national clearinghouse for detail opportunities...people felt they just didn't know.
Q: Is there a way to capture knowledge and processes...not just people? Cloud solutions?
A: Missed this one...what's your answer?
This is a problem that we're all going to grapple with over the next 5-10 years...eager to get your ideas regarding how we keep great talent!