AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Howard Risher

Workforce Management Consultant Howard Risher is a consultant on pay and performance and previously managed consulting practices for two national firms. In 1990, he managed the Office of Personnel Management project that led to the passage of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act and the transition to locality pay. Howard has worked with a variety of federal and state agencies, the United Nations and OECD. He is the author of several books and is developing his next manuscript on workforce management in government. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State and an MBA and Ph.D. in business and applied economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Results 1-10 of 52

Agencies Should Celebrate Their Accomplishments

10:56 AM ET The reports of performance problems make the headlines but it’s rare to find success stories reported any place. It’s surprisingly difficult to find positive stories of government. There have been a couple of articles looking at the “greatest achievements” over the past half century but apparently nothing good has happened...

GE Saw the Light on Performance, Government Should Too

August 19, 2015 It’s happened again. Another major corporation has dramatically changed the way it manages employee performance. This time it’s General Electric. That’s important because the new approach is in direct contrast to the indefensible “rank and yank” philosophy attributed to former GE chief executive Jack Welch. That process involved a forced...

Government Is Losing the War for the Best and Brightest

August 12, 2015 It’s always great to find someone who agrees with you. The August cover story of Fortune, “Humans Are Underrated,” also the title of Geoff Colvin's new book, says it far better than anything I could post. Colvin's basic argument is that computers can never fully replace people. Technology is replacing...

As Companies Shed Annual Reviews, Should Government Follow Suit?

July 28, 2015 According to an announcement reported in The Washington Post, Accenture is eliminating annual performance reviews. Earlier Deloitte changed its policy. A few other companies have made a similar decision but the numbers are small. Surveys suggest roughly 5 percent of companies have eliminated performance reviews. It was reported because these...

From Crisis to Opportunity for OPM

July 13, 2015 There is always empathy when a leader takes the fall for problems they did not create. Katherine Archuleta’s resignation was similar to that when a losing team’s coach resigns. Redskin fans have lived with that for years. For the Office of Personnel Management and the federal HR community this could...

Let's Demolish HR and Start Over

July 8, 2015 The future of the human resources function is up for discussion in the business world. That’s clear from the cover of the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review, “It’s Time to Blow up HR and Build Something New.” The level of dissatisfaction has been known for years. These articles are...

The GS System Cannot Be Fixed

June 25, 2015 The General Schedule salary system has become an impediment to good government. The annual analysis to compare federal and nonfederal salaries has lost credibility. No president has accepted and approved the increases to close the pay gap since the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act was enacted in 1990. Salaries for...

What’s in a Name? Everything That’s Wrong With Job Classification

June 16, 2015 The Merit Systems Protection Board’s latest newsletter highlights a costly government problem that has been ignored for years. It’s the reality of position classification, the decision process for assigning jobs to salary grades. MSPB did not directly argue that the process is broken, but that’s the clear message. It’s easy...

It’s Time to Make the HR Function Valuable Again

June 4, 2015 The shifting workforce management landscape prompts important questions about the value of the human resources function in government. In their recent Governing column, Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene said, “Many governors no longer look to human resources for advice on their workforce.” The message could not be clearer—these leaders do...

HR Needs to Prepare for a New Role

June 3, 2015 In their recent piece “HR Directors Get a Personnel Downgrade,” Governing columnists Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene raised a pervasive challenge across all levels of government. “There have always been a number of states in which the HR function has moved from a separate agency to a division in a...