Why would anyone want to work for government?

by Melany Gallant | Posted | Performance Management

Why would anyone want to work for government?

In this four-part blog series, guest author Marnie E. Green (@MarnieGreen) — Principal Consultant at Management Education Group, Inc. — shares key strategies public sector agencies can use to engage employees, improve operational efficiency and ensure organizational alignment.

The allure of working for government has been lost. In the midst of pay freezes, shrinking budgets, layoffs, and furloughs, a GOVERNING Exchange survey found critical, yet predictable insights.

Nearly all state and local government respondents said that employee morale and engagement has sharply declined in the past few years.

Further, in a separate survey of recent college graduates, just six percent planned to work in government. Government job satisfaction (and interest as a career option) seems lagging.

These survey results lead us to the question: Why would anyone want to work for government these days?

Certainly the competition for engaged, talented staff is fiercer than ever. Retaining and motivating public employees is a daunting task in this environment. There is also evidence, however, that engaging public employees is not an insurmountable feat.

Engaging public sector employees requires a culture shift

The GOVERNING study highlighted two jurisdictions, Oregon Metro and the City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska as examples of agencies that have successfully upped their engagement levels. By improving communication and developing leaders, these organizations are seeing the benefits of a comprehensive talent management strategy.

Government employment offers opportunities that cannot be found in the private sector and there’s no better time for agencies to exploit these benefits. In fact, now is the time to examine how your agency is engaging employees in the mission of the organization. With a few simple strategies and tools, you can improve employee engagement and drive outcomes that positively impact constituents.

Over the next several weeks this guest blog series will explore three strategies for engaging public sector employees. By focusing on your performance strategy, enlisting employees in the creation of the future, and strengthening connections, you can create an environment where employees are committed and engaged.

Stay tuned for detailed suggestions on how to create a culture where there is no question why employees want to work for government.

Engaging Public Employees in Uncertain Times

On November 1st I’ll be leading a webinar on how to increase employee engagement in government. In this webinar I’ll discuss the link between performance and engagement, and the tools you can use to connect employees to the important mission of your organization. I invite you to register now to learn more.

About Marnie E. Green

Marnie E. Green is Principal Consultant of the Management Education Group, Inc. and author of Painless Performance Evaluations and the soon to be released book, Painless Performance Conversations (Wiley, 2013).

Green is the leading go-to expert on employee performance management practices in local government.

Webinar: Engaging Public Sector Employees in Uncertain Times


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Webinar: Engaging Public Sector Employees in Uncertain Times


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