Why have federal government leaders always been overly challenged by workplace performance issues? There are many reasons, yet few solutions. Without the proper mechanisms and leadership in place to manage poor performance, agencies have and will continue to struggle to improve individual and organizational performance. However, sometimes the cure can be worse than the cold.
Major reorganizations, dramatic changes in strategy, ever increasing oversight and other factors can lead to higher employee turnover. Retaining high-performing employees who perceive a lack of investment in their careers and professional growth becomes more of a risk. As such, underperforming employees – and the lack of action by strong leaders to address them – can negatively affect not only program success but also organizational morale and culture.
These workforce management challenges were recently documented in a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recommending the federal government “assess the adequacy of leadership training that agencies provide to supervisors.”
As a result of this report, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducted a Federal Supervisory Training Program Survey to comply with the GAO’s recommendation. The following OPM memo detailed the results from the survey, and concluded the following:
Agencies design and deliver comprehensive training curriculums for New Supervisors, but offer disproportionate training at other leadership levels.
A majority of survey respondents suggested that while agencies make training and development available to new supervisors, there is inconsistent delivery and availability of this same training to other individuals seeking to advance their careers.
In order to address effective talent succession, OPM recommends that all agencies develop and implement leadership opportunities at all levels of the organization, even for those who may not yet be – but aspire to be – in supervisory roles.
Further, they encourage agencies to better integrate their training strategy together with the larger organizational strategy in order to better align work with strategy. In doing so, agencies can ensure that their people are making measurable and meaningful changes to business processes, team dynamics, and the overall agency culture.
These recommendations are consistent with the rising demand for adaptive leaders today, and the need for holistic skill sets that can adapt to today’s complex working environments.
In a rapidly changing world with frequent political and economic shifts, it’s become abundantly clear that top down leadership isn’t enough. As evidenced by this study – a report commissioned by one agency, followed up by a survey conducted by another – the interconnected nature of strategy, work, and people today requires that all employees engaged in project-based work expand their skill sets and change their mindsets in order to successfully navigate these three domains.
Leaders, at all levels of the organization, can benefit from advanced training that helps them think differently to build a more positive culture focused on better performance and results.
For more information about Strategy Execution’s government training solutions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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