The State of the Workforce: Key Issues Government Managers Face

Today’s government managers face a flurry of challenges — whether it’s managing a 21st-century workforce with systems that are decades old or engaging employees through meaningful work and substantive initiatives that address morale and quality of life.

Imagine a workforce in which government managers could hire talented professionals with ease and onboard new employees in a matter of weeks instead of months.

What if government managers could effectively connect with and engage employees at all levels of the organization and proactively ensure that they have the tools and skills necessary to take advantage of new technologies?

For government agencies operating within the confines of a decades-old personnel system, these hypotheticals may seem far-fetched and nearly impossible.

What’s more, it’s tough to institute this level of change in an organization as large, diverse and complex as the government — with missions that range from ensuring students have nutritious lunches to managing the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

But it isn’t impossible. There are pockets of success at the federal, state and local levels where agencies are launching small pilot tests and expanding them into larger workforce programs, and finding creative ways to reskill employees and better align hiring decisions with their current and future workforce needs.

In this guide, we’ll explore what progress in these areas looks like, case studies and best practices for transforming human resources for government managers at all levels of government.