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4 Ways to Engage the Next Generation of Government Talent

With shrinking budgets and an aging workforce, government organizations face several unique challenges in building their next generation of leaders. Baby boomers are reaching retirement age, taking skills and knowledge as they leave, and morale is decreasing, fueled by work and pay freezes during the government shutdown last year. Federal human resources professionals not only need to consider how to recruit young, top talent, but also how to retain these future leaders. 

By 2025, millennials will make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce. However, only 11 percent of current government employees are millennials, according to the Office of Personnel Management—indicating the potential for a major talent gap in the industry. 

According to Cornerstone OnDemand’s benchmark survey, Building a Culture of Excellence and Engagement, conducted with WBR Digital for the second year in a row, the No. 1 concern of government employers is finding qualified job candidates—with 68 percent of respondents working on such initiatives. Yet at the same time, eight in 10 federal agencies have no active recruitment strategy in place for attracting millennials, who make up the majority of candidates.

Currently, 78 percent of federal HR executives feel that their talent management programs are inadequate ...

Five of Government's Top Social Media Accounts

Government social media accounts, if there’s one thing we know, it’s that they’re here to stay. Corner Alliance has talked about trends in digital government, the issues of convincing government employees to take advantage of social media, and also how to go about measuring digital in government. In all this research there are a few government agencies and programs that have really shown they’re on the cutting edge of social media.

These accounts have embraced various forms of social media, using it to connect with their stakeholders, communicate the importance of their work and create a recognizable brand with the American public. While there are many we could mention, these are the top five we want to call out as leading examples of digital government.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Facebook Account
This account does a great job of posting timely, relevant and vetted resources. You can find helpful Q&A videos on hot topics such as secondhand smoke and Ebola. CDC also does an excellent job of posting health and wellness best practices and activities. They have 466,875 likes and counting.

The DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Twitter Account
The ...

Batter Up: 5 Things Workforce Planners Can Learn From Fantasy Baseball

It’s that time of year again. Baseball superfans know what I’m talking about. It’s time to draft your fantasy baseball team. If you’re like millions of Americans, you’re grabbing your peanuts and Cracker Jacks and getting ready for an exciting season.

For many, the fantasy draft isn’t a one-and-done event. Avid baseball fans actively observe signings, releases, injuries and news about prospects throughout the off-season. People who would otherwise cringe in the face of data find themselves knee deep in acronyms like OBP and WAR, and statistically normed stats. They know how to separate the five-tool players from those who wear their glove on the wrong hand.

What’s it all for? The thrill of winning. The ability to demonstrate your strategic prowess to your closest and/or geekiest friends. Something to fill the blank space between lunch and your regular 2 p.m. meeting. All of the above.

As a management consultant, I find this annual ritual quite interesting from an organizational dynamics perspective. I get a kick out of watching fantasy sports addicts inadvertently tapping the same skill sets organizations seek in their strategic workforce planners:

  • Future focus
  • Scenario-based planning
  • Evaluation of ...

Seeking Ambassadors of Performance and Results

Over the past two decades, the performance movement has made steady progress. It has resulted in a focus on results via strategic and annual operating plans, a supply of performance information to track progress of these plans, a demand for performance information through quarterly reviews of progress on priority goals and annual reviews of strategic objectives, and an infrastructure with chief operating officers and performance improvement officers.

The movement has even contributed to efforts to use analytics and evidence-based decision-making approaches, which a number of agencies are pioneering at all levels of government. But most of the progress has been in creating performance data, and the development of numerous collection and reporting processes.

The movement has not yet cracked the code on how to embed a performance and results orientation in the day-to-day operations of front-line and headquarters staff. There are isolated examples, such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which uses performance management approaches to handle its workloads. But this push for digestible information has led to a demand for new skills—and a need to change attitudes and behaviors of staff and managers, so they see data as a benefit, not a burden.

A recent IBM ...

Six Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes or Less to Be More Productive

I am naturally driven to push through a challenge. When my work to-do list looks like a mass of deadlines, I sacrifice many other important things for the sake of getting it all done. When I’m sick, tired, or unfocused I like to pretend I’m the Energizer Bunny, continuing to move ahead at all costs. Sound familiar to you?

This driven, move ahead, push-through-it-all way of being to make a deadline is where I live if I allow myself to run unchecked. I’ve learned that it doesn’t serve me well, and if I really want to focus and be productive over the long haul, I know I need to spend some time doing other things that will foster those qualities.

You might find it surprising that taking small amounts of time in nondeadline activities can create the conditions for you to concentrate better and get more done. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time these activities “should” take, start with 15 minutes or less—daily if you can (or as needed).

Some ideas:

Meditate: Sitting still for the recommended 20 to 30 minutes can be difficult. Try smaller increments—even just 3 to 5 ...