Federal managers retain wrong employees, feds say

Photodisc

Federal employees worry their agencies are allowing their best employees to leave public service while retaining poor performers, according to a new report.

Less than a quarter of federal workers believe their organization “addresses poor performers effectively,” the Merit Systems Protection Board found in a workforce survey. Only 41 percent said their organization retains the best employees.

MSPB -- an independent, quasi-judicial agency that serves to protect federal employees -- conducted the survey to assess the federal workforce’s perceptions of the merit systems principles, or the “human resources policies and practices designed to ensure that people are recruited, managed and retained on the basis of their abilities and performance.”

While MSPB said managers need to improve their “stewardship” of employees -- how they use and develop talent -- feds said they feel protected and treated fairly under the merit system's principles. A majority of respondents said their agencies prevent discrimination, offer fair pay and recruit a diverse application pool.

There remained room for improvement in the fairness category, however, as less than 30 percent of respondents felt their agency did not engage in favoritism.

The government also has room to reduce waste, as more than 70 percent federal employees said their agency does not adequately eliminate unnecessary functions and positions.

To address the perceived shortcomings, MSPB recommended additional education for federal supervisors on MSPB’s guidelines. It also suggested involving employees in identifying ways to remain efficient and target redundancies. Managers should take an active role in retaining good employees, while recognizing and dismissing the bad ones, MSPB said.

“Eliminating unnecessary functions and positions and effectively addressing poor performing employees,” MSPB wrote in its report, “are particularly vital for agencies if they are going to show Congress, the President, and the American people, that they have done as much as possible with as few resources as possible.”

MSPB also recommended increasing efficiency by better preparing the workforce, as only 60 percent of employees felt they received the necessary training for their job.

MSPB surveyed a random sample of full-time employees across 24 departments and agencies in 2010, though the report was just recently released. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.