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Five Predictions Sure to go Wrong: What's Coming for Federal Managers in 2015

What will impact Federal Managers this year? Here are our top five predictions, but what are yours? Let us know!

 

1. Employee Engagement

As Federal engagement levels reach a low point,look for more emphasis on activities, initiatives and OPM discussion on keeping employees engaged, productive, and positive about their work and career. The problem? Many of these often superficial tactics have very little long-term impact. What would be better? Less bashing, blaming and inaction on Capitol Hill, a renewed commitment to employee development and career growth, and a focus on the personnel, administrative and management issues facing first line supervisors and executives.

2. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R)Utah

You might not know his name yet, but when the new Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee describes "Misguided Federal decisions" in his first comments of the New Year, it becomes clear we all should and will know him in 2015. Congressman Chaffetz appears more interested and well-versed on Federal Workforce issues than outgoing Chairman Issa, and is expanding the number of subcommittees from five to six. More attention and intelligent debate on the government operations would be appreciated; however we'll reserve judgment on what Rep. Chaffetz means for all of us until he settles into his new role.

3. Budgeting as a Policy Tool

The House's biggest Republican majority since World War II is undoubtedly significant. But what exactly does it mean for everyone trying to get work done? With another Government shutdown hopefully off the table, smaller but more targeted budget choices are already being employed to express policy disapproval with the President. The biggest so far, a Congressional budget cut to the EPA, in order to "rein in regulatory overreach"\u201d", may lead to the smallest EPA staff in almost 30 years. Another provision, to only provide DHS funding through February, may actually have little impact on the immigration reform effort it was intended to disrupt.

4. Innovation

It's a word we know and hear more and more, but what does it mean for Federal management? There is a growing and somewhat counterintuitive push to mandate and structure innovation. From Congress mandating an "Innovation Center" at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to the recent food safety law that mandates "modernization", can congressionally mandating creative thinking possibly work in our current environment?

5. Generational Issues in the Federal Workforce

With three distinct generations working together inside Federal agencies, there are growing issues for each of the three:

Baby Boomers Will a stock market rebound and an improving national economy combine with declining engagement to initiate an overdue retirement wave?

Generation X Mid-level employees between ages 35 and 55 are already discussing their frustration at being wedged between the groups older and younger than themselves, with reduced ability to advance.

Millennials The percentage of employees under 30 not only remains shockingly low, its actually declining. Even worse, many of these high skilled professionals who are being heavily recruited and developed show little interest in remaining in the Federal service very long.

We'll check on all five of these issues throughout the year and promise continued honest and open discussion on Federal performance, management and strategy in 2015. Please send me a note atjon.desenberg@performanceinstitute.orgwith what you'd like to see discussed!

Written by: Jon Desenberg, Policy Director, The Performance Institute
Desenberg is a regular contributor to the FEDmanager blog.

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Posted in Performance Pickup

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