AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Howard Risher

Workforce Management Consultant Howard Risher is a consultant focusing on pay and performance. In 1990, he managed the 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 earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State and an MBA and Ph.D. in business from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is the co-author of the new book It's Time for High-Performance Government: Winning Strategies to Engage and Energize the Public Sector Workforce (2016), with Bill Wilder.
Results 11-20 of 133

Why Federal Employees Need a Better Work Experience

April 26, 2018 Civil service reform cannot come too soon. However, replacing government’s antiquated HR policies and practices will have only a limited impact on agency performance or on government’s success in attracting highly qualified applicants. In the books on high performance organizations the HR function is often not mentioned at all. The...

Civil Service Reform Must Be a Priority

April 9, 2018 Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon recently promised sweeping changes in government’s HR practices. That initiative can’t start soon enough. But it would be a serious mistake to limit the changes to the policies and practices “owned” by the Office of Personnel Management. If the title wasn’t already taken,...

With Pay for Performance, Money Is Not the Problem

March 28, 2018 Pay for performance is not a compensation problem; it’s a performance management problem. The focus in government is on the money but the acceptance of the policy depends on ratings and metrics that are perceived as fair. Anecdotal evidence suggests strongly that performance ratings across government have little credibility. When...

With Pay for Performance, Money Is Not the Problem

March 27, 2018 Pay for performance is not a compensation problem; it’s a performance management problem. The focus in government is on the money but the acceptance of the policy depends on ratings and metrics that are perceived as fair. Anecdotal evidence suggests strongly that performance ratings across government have little credibility. When...

Government Needs to Rethink Employee Compensation Plans

March 20, 2018 The Office of Management and Budget is committed to improving government’s performance. But while reorganizing and eliminating unnecessary jobs could reduce costs, that does not necessarily lead to better results. Reorganizations actually tend to disrupt working relationships so, for a time at least, performance often declines. Real gains come from...

Managing Government as a Talent Driven Organization

March 13, 2018 Two books published this month directly relate to the goal of improving performance. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey co-authored with Ori Brafman, Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership. Three prominent consultants drafted the second, Talent Wins: The New Playbook...

Finally, Managing People Seems to be a Priority

March 6, 2018 The Office of Management and Budget recently posted a job opening: “Serve as a Performance Manager, GS-0301, 14/15 leading interagency efforts to improve program performance, management, and efficiency.” The job description suggests the incumbent will be expected to provide leadership on all aspects of agency performance with a focus on...

Performance Management is Not a Contest

February 20, 2018 The management of employee performance is not a contest to select the fastest or the prettiest. For better or worse, our society places a lot of emphasis on competitive situations and on winning. My Philadelphia Eagles just proved they are the best among the 32 NFL teams. Philadelphia went crazy....

Pay for Performance is Needed

February 13, 2018 The switch to pay for performance is inevitable. The General Schedule salary system is approaching 100 years old. Automatic step increases are contrary to the goals of improving government performance and holding employees accountable. Further, there is no rationale that justifies paying federal employees better than their counterparts working in...

Focusing on the Positive: Rewarding Good Workers and Managers

February 5, 2018 The pundits focused on the line in President Trump’s state of the union address asking Congress to “empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority . . . to remove federal workers.” For the most part, they ignored the call to “reward good workers” preceding the reference to removal. It may...