Viewpoint: Retaining the best is important as removing poor performers

The talk from the current White House about federal employees often is about removing poor performers more easily, but the focus really should be about rewarding good performance, according to recent opinion piece.

The Government Executive opinion piece notes that language in this year’s locality pay report—also referred to as the pay agent’s report—emphasizes empowering agencies to better develop and better reward feds as they sustain their careers in federal service.

The piece remarks that although terminating poor performers is often seen as a good move by other employees, moving the discussion toward retaining good employees is—or should be—an even more important priority. In that vein, improving rewards and reducing micromanagement are also crucial steps in furthering a great workforce, according to the piece.

Reader comments

Thu, Mar 22, 2018

Bad managers that have a punish the masses approach. Giving out fully successful reviews for stellar performance because they don't want to give bonuses. They are punishing the top performers for their problems with upper management or want to show that they are saving the government money meanwhile collecting their own bonus. A bonus should be given to top performers. That way they lead by example. Worst management I've seen in 15 years.

Thu, Mar 22, 2018

That would be a breath of fresh air but HUD would rather lie, hire you, spend thousands and years to train you then not incentivize you to stay! There’s a lack of integrity. You stay until someone’s willing to make things right or you find an agency with management with integrity.

Thu, Mar 22, 2018

Today's federal managers were promoted too early and for the wrong reasons. One of those reasons is race. The other is gender. As long as the fed hiring process remains fixated on solving a problem that will never be resolved, (i.e. 'correcting' disparity among numbers of minorities), there will be incompetent managers and poor moral. "Animal Farm" by George Orwell is a really good read. It's a parody of what happened to the working class in Russia but the characters are an easy fit into any workforce oppressed by corrupt leadership. Sincerely, Boxer.

Thu, Mar 22, 2018

The other comment are right. Also, all of this posturing & threats on benefits, pay, & union rights/protections is driving away the good performers. Management protects their own, instead of firing them or demoting them; they are moved to a different job or even demoted but with the same pay. Management is often unaccountable except where the unions can apply some very limited power through due process.

Thu, Mar 22, 2018 DC HQ

My agency is full of clicks and friendships. I have personally experienced revers discrimination, favoritism and retribution while they have promoted friends and other employees while working out deals to promote their programs. True there is a lot of bad employees but one single racist manager does more harm to hard working employees and the Agency than all the bad employees. I seen discrimination, revers discrimination, favoritism,sexism from all different type of managers. It's sickening. One director was removed from a supervisors position 3 different times for sexual harassment. Currently he is constantly asked to play the roll of Actin Director. Don't pay to be a honest hard working employee in this government.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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