Federal employee engagement: Keys to mission success

Tuesday - 4/3/2012, 7:37pm EDT

April 5, 2012

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In an era of shrinking budgets and increasing demands for high-quality services, productivity improvement is critical to performance outcomes. How can public-sector organizations meet fiscal requirements while sustaining effective performance levels? Hear the latest trends in employee engagement strategies used to improve performance and increase workforce productivity to enable mission success.

Guests:

John M. Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service
David Dye, Director, Federal Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP



Show Highlights:

• Why agency leaders should be concerned about employee engagement? • What mattered most to employees in the 2011 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings • Engaging a multi-generational workforce through new technologies • Strategies Federal leaders can use to help improve employee engagement to meet the demands of the current fiscal environment • Lessons learned from the 2011 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings




























Primary image (David Dye, Jane Norris, John Palguta)

The following is a full transcript of FedCentral's interview with John Palguta, Vice-President of Policy, Partnership for Public Service and David Dye, Director, Federal Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP conducted by Jane Norris on April 5, 2012.

Jane Norris
Welcome to FedCentral brought to you by Deloitte, a program where executives and federal government leaders talk about the issues and initiatives that are making a real impact on the business of government today, to help government help America.

In an era of shrinking budgets and increasing demands for high-quality services, productivity improvement is critical to performance outcomes. So how can public sector organizations meet those fiscal requirements while sustaining effective performance levels?

Today on FedCentral, we'll discuss employee engagement strategies used to improve performance and increase workforce productivity to enable mission success, and joining us on the show today is John Palguta, Vice-President for Policy at the Partnership for Public Service. John served in government for 34 years at agencies like the Merit System's Protection Board in the Office of Personnel Management. At the Partnership, John is responsible for comprehensive programs of review and analysis of human capital issues in the federal government.

He was instrumental in the development of one of the Partnership's premier initiatives, the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings. He also manages the Partnership's Federal Human Capital Collaborative.

Also joining us is David Dye, a Director of Federal Human Capital at Deloitte Consulting. David has more than 25 years of executive leadership experience in the federal and commercial sectors. In the Federal government, he spent ten years at the Office of Personnel Management and in those capacities he contributed to the improved performance of employees, work teams, and organizations. As a director in the Human Capital Practice, he assists clients in developing human capital programs to achieve organizational strategy and mission. Currently, he is the lead executive working with the Partnership for Public Service in support of the Best Places to Work program. Hear a common theme here, right; The Best Places to Work Program.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for being here today. It's a pleasure to be on the show with you.

John Palguta
It's a pleasure to be here, Jane. Thank you.

David Dye
Thanks for having me, Jane, nice to be here.

Jane Norris
Oh, it's great to have you both. So let's talk about employee engagement, which is really what the rankings are all about, the Best Places to Work in Government. So why should agency leaders be concerned about how engaged their employees are? David, I'll ask you.

David Dye
Sure, well, I'll just take a minute out and talk about what employee engagement is? We've actually seen resurgence in our government and private sector organizations about the importance of it, so to us, it's more than just how happy people are and how satisfied they are with their jobs. It really connotes more than cooperation or satisfaction. It's really about being committed, capturing both levels of effort and commitment. So at the end of the day, how much discretionary effort are employees putting toward being high-performers and helping their agencies accomplish their mission? And so the extent to which people enjoy and believe in what they do and the perception that they're going to be rewarded for that I think is a really important aspect of employee engagement today.

Jane Norris
John?

John Palguta
Ah, well, he's absolutely right, and what I'd like to say is that it's not about happy employees; that's a side benefit. It's about effective organizations. You know, in research terms, it's the findings. If your employees are dissatisfied coming into work, they don't like their boss, they're not wild about the environment, they may show up for the paycheck, but they're not going to give you their best effort. On the other hand, if they're engaged, they're committed, they look forward to coming in, getting the mission accomplished. Obviously, they're giving you better effort and it's a more productive workforce. So it's all about getting the job done and at the same time, the nice thing is if you're being fair to employee and they're engaged, they're also feeling good about being there.

Jane Norris
Do you think agencies are making the connection between the Best Places to Work survey and employee engagement? Do they look for those statistics within their agencies to help them drive improvement? Have you been seeing that?

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