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Performance Equals Motivation Times Ability

March 18, 2014 There have been several recent columns on Government Executive discussing ideas for improving performance. One suggested the use of Post-It Notes would improve productivity. Another suggested eliminating performance reviews—every manager would love that. Another suggested accountability should be centralized, not decentralized, which is contrary to countless books on high performance. ...

Analysis: The cost of the pay freeze outweighs the savings

December 13, 2012 Not to downplay the importance of addressing the deficit, but consider this: If the federal pay freeze continues in 2013, the savings will amount to $4.6 billion -- less than 0.5 percent of the deficit in 2012. That figure is based on a $185 billion payroll for the three branches ...

Analysis: Ten reasons to replace the General Schedule

November 23, 2011 The General Schedule needs to be replaced. It is an impediment to the effective management of payroll dollars and the workforce. The federal pay system is broken, and agencies deserve better. Last spring, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked the Government Accountability ...

Analysis: Searching for honest performance ratings

November 11, 2011 Everyone it seems is looking for the secret to performance management. A labor-management committee at the Defense Department recently released its recommendations for a new performance management system. The assessment was mandated by the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act after the department's previous attempt at reform -- the National Security ...

Tough Times

July 6, 2011 Downsizing is not without consequences. The anticipated staffing cuts will expose a core problem that has no immediate solution: Many managers are not ready for what could unfold. Understaffed operations lead to demoralized workforces. Buyouts and early outs deplete institutional knowledge. And voluntary turnover is highest among the best qualified ...

Analysis: Politics of federal pay obscures the facts

May 25, 2011 The call for cuts in federal pay by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in his first speech as a Republican presidential candidate this week cemented the prominence of government salaries and benefits as a political issue. His speech was in Iowa, not Washington. His comments were significant also because his ...

Analysis: An open letter to Chairman Issa on federal pay

April 14, 2011 Dear Chairman Issa: I read in a recent Federal Times column that you as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked the Government Accountability Office to explore why studies of federal pay differ widely in their conclusions. I might be able to save them some time. I've ...

Analysis: and the winner of the pay debate is . . .

March 10, 2011 A reporter for a federal newspaper suggested that Wednesday's hearing titled "Are Federal Workers Underpaid?" was "as close to Thunderdome as a federal pay debate can get." This was only the first round, but it is clear which direction the battle is moving in. The real fight, not surprisingly, was ...

Analysis: Time for a fresh look at the federal pay system

January 27, 2011 While conservative analysts continue seeking to prove federal employees are overpaid, President Obama's State of the Union speech opened the door to a broader need to rethink the General Schedule salary system. In the speech, Obama mentioned federal pay only in passing, but the proposed five-year freeze on nondefense discretionary ...

Analysis: Pay reform at the crossroads

January 6, 2011 Unpopular as the pay freeze clearly is among feds, it is likely not enough of a revolution to satisfy critics of the General Schedule salary system. The new Congress could vote to impose even more severe cuts in pay. But as long as the system and its administration are unchanged, ...