Survey of federal executives finds leadership problems
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Oct 05, 2017
A recent survey by Deloitte and the Senior Executives Association found that the federal government has issues with its leadership pipeline and needs to design leadership and development programs—among other initiatives—to address the matter.
The survey of more than 750 federal leaders found that the government is not attracting and retaining top talent, and agencies are struggling to identify and promote high-potential leaders over employees with strong technical expertise.
Only 22 percent of respondents said they felt that their agency is well prepared to retain top talent. They also expressed concern over leadership development opportunities, and identified the need for better infrastructure as the cause.
“Agencies are not prepared for the future of work, and even the most senior executive leaders believe significant innovation and collaboration are discouraged by institutional or cultural barriers,” the survey states, adding, ”Furthermore, only 28 percent of respondents felt their agencies had systems in place to enable knowledge-sharing across government leadership.”
There was a bright side to the survey findings. “The good news is that federal executives care deeply about the organizations they lead, clearly understand what they are accountable for, and are anxious to see key changes to help improve leadership selection, development, and empowerment,” according to the survey.
Deloitte and SEA made a number of recommendations for government executives to start addressing these challenges, including:
- Using evidence-based assessments to identify high-potential individuals with leadership skills;
- Designing leadership development and training programs that build leadership capabilities through challenging experiences; and
- Focusing on re-evaluating the work and the workforce of tomorrow in order to make better hiring decisions.