Legislation would require more training for federal managers

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, has introduced legislation that would provide more training and new performance standards for federal managers.

"The performance of our federal employees and managers is essential to the success of our government," said Akaka, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Workforce Subcommittee. "We will do well to invest in them through training and professional development."

The 2009 Federal Supervisor Training Act would require all agencies to provide new managers with training on developing performance expectations with their employees and evaluating them within their first year on the job. Current managers would have three years to take the training for the first time. After the initial guidance, all managers would have to receive refresher training every three years.

Akaka's legislation also would require that managers receive training on whistleblower, collective bargaining and anti-discrimination laws; have mentors; and learn how to mentor their own employees.

And the bill would set new performance expectations for managers. Depending on the results of their own annual evaluations, managers would receive training in areas identified for improvement.

"Federal employees perform at their best when they are led by well-trained, highly competent supervisors and managers," said Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service. "Sen. Akaka's Federal Supervisor Training Act will ensure that federal supervisors develop and maintain the skills necessary to engage employees in achieving better organizational performance."

Akaka introduced similar legislation in 2007. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued a report supporting the legislation in November 2008. It was placed on the legislative calendar at that time, but the Senate did not act on the bill before the end of the 110th Congress.

"The price to federal agencies of poor supervision can be enormous," Lieberman wrote in his 2008 report. "Weak supervisors not only cause job performance to suffer, but also harm morale and drive good employees away, adding to recruitment and training costs. And supervisory behavior affects the number of complaints and grievances, which can impose large costs and burdens on agencies to resolve."

Paul Rowson, managing director of WorldatWork, a global human resources association, said Akaka's bill could help federal agencies catch up to the private sector in management training.

"The private sector has acknowledged this for years and many organizations have elevated first-line leader training as a core part of ongoing leadership development efforts," he said.

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

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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