Federal Agencies Are Now Requiring an Updated Management ModelawsDONOTREMOVE
Government agencies are now dealing with important performance issues, which can be pointed to the society and attitude that the present civil service culture has formed, the reliance put on old ways of doing things and policies, and an older workforce. Most of the time good leadership is needed for dealing with these issues. The good news is that recent success stories continue to confirm that it is possible to have good work performance.
There are many obstacles blocking the path of change – unions, a tough political environment, and the law. Federal agencies should be operating like a business – accountable and efficient. Many companies operate as per market dynamics and to uphold continued financial success. This business model needed here works by identifying useful services or products, the target markets, and required financial support – three important business strategy factors. This same model can be seen in the healthcare industry too.
The government’s version of this model can be termed ‘public service model’ – which involves discovering the goals of these agencies, the parts of society that they target, and the different groups that enable continued support. These issues play a key role in influencing the political debate.
But the management model that is used by federal agencies is very outdated and runs contrary to a variety of practices, which have been shown to promote high-performance, successful work environments. This model also produces a work environment, where highly-qualified members are not attracted and retained.
These issues involve many related policies and are wide and deeply entrenched practices. In order to solve them, these three areas will have to be rethought:
• A total shift must be done to an environment that offers performance instead of compliance with preexisting, outdated directives
• Practices and policies that are used by managers for managing the workforce and government’s operations need a major overhaul.
• The selection & training of executives, managers, and supervisors need to be redone too.
Such a big change can take years. To take the first move, all involved parties must agree to these changes.
There is an important requirement to deal with these tough issues, especially because of an older workforce, the government’s reputation for being a bad employer, noncompetitive federal agency salaries, the preference among younger employees to choose urban jobs, broad demographic trends, and an unusually restricted labor market. Retirement is going to remove a lot of talented people from the workforce and federal agencies need to start getting prepared for new replacements. When sensational news like long waiting lines at VA hospitals and Jeffery Epstein’s suicide are mentioned, people often blame vacancies for allowing this to happen. It must be noted that the situation cannot be managed effectively unless new changes are implemented.
While a whole transformation of the government’s management model is the need of the hour, it’s important that the managers and executives of these federal agencies are committed to ensuring the success of such a transformation. Eventually, it is they who need to be comfortable with updated management practices.
The end goal isn’t to replace and scrap the entire civil service system in the US. However, recent studies and research literature have shown that it is leaders, supported by managers and executives, who play an instrumental role in developing high-performance environments and organizations.