The future of work is coming. Are federal managers ready for this?

Federal employees return to the office. Not everyone is happy about it.

Dissatisfaction is more than just anecdotal grumbling. A series of government-wide “spot polls” provide real-time insight into how federal employees are currently feeling.

This is a different approach to assessing federal employee satisfaction than the Federal Employee Perspective Survey (FEVS).

The Office of Personnel Management released the latest FEVS data last week, but it’s based on responses collected last year and doesn’t offer much insight into how the federal workforce is performing. currently feels about reintegrating into the office.

Employees of the Social Security Administration, for example, responded to impulse surveys at a higher rate than the average federal workforce and gave their agency some of the lowest ratings.

Of the 24 agencies in the survey, SSA ranked lowest on topics such as employee engagement and back-to-office communications.

These measures were conveyed to SSA Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi, who in an email to all staff said she was concerned about the data.

“While I am encouraged to see a slight improvement in the opinion that your workload is reasonable, I remain concerned about the level of burnout and lack of commitment you report feeling at work,” Kijakazi wrote.

The General Services Administration, on the other hand, earned top marks in the pulse survey. Nearly 40 percent of GSA’s workforce responded to the survey and consistently rated the agency above the government average on issues related to office reintegration.

While there are many variables at play, one notable point is that the GSA has been a leader in remote working even before the pandemic.

GSA’s head of human capital, Traci DiMartini, during a panel on the future of work last week, said a smart telecommuting federal workforce has raised the bar for what it means to be a government manager.

“What we had was a fundamental resistance to not wanting to change the way we work. And the last few years have forced us to look at how technology can keep us interconnected and have a more remote and hybrid workforce, and also how to keep managers interconnected with their employees,” DiMartini said at the GITEC Summit. ATARC in Annapolis.

The GSA has recruited more than 1,600 people virtually since the start of the pandemic – including DiMartini, who served as a CHCO for the Peace Corps before September 2020.

Matisha Montgomery, director of learning for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the future of work also requires an upgrade for federal managers.

The Biden and Trump administrations have sought ways to upskill the federal workforce to acquire technical skills in cybersecurity and data science. But Montgomery said managers need training in interpersonal skills and how to lead people.

“A lot of people call them soft skills. I like to call them lasting skills because they’ll carry you wherever you go,” she said.

Federal employees promoted to leadership positions, she added, often struggle to make the transition between being great at their jobs and making sure their team is doing a great job.

“We never focused on what it would mean for them to take on a leadership role as a supervisor or manager. And often they’re not really interested in taking on those aspects of the role,” Montgomery said.

Nina Bianchi, former head of people and culture at the Food and Drug Administration, now head of solutions for Medallia’s public sector practice, said agencies more receptive to remote work will be able to recruit from a pool more talent

“This type of service shouldn’t be limited to people who can just physically relocate to DC. You should be able to work and serve in leadership roles, front-line roles, whatever you would like to do in public service across the country. And I think the pandemic has forced us to see that as indeed possible,” Bianchi said.

Almost useless factoid

By Robert O’Shaughnessy

Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage are all varieties of the same plant species.

Source: Voice

Lance B. Holton