Tips for management under the new budget

Monday - 4/11/2011, 8:31am EDT

George Smith, National Vice President, Federal Managers Association

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Federal managers across government were ready Friday to implement a government shutdown if a budget deal not gone through. Even with a funding plan in the works, managers will continue to face the challenges of operating under stricter budgets and keeping employee morale high amidst uncertainties.

George Smith, deputy director for industrial support and national vice president at the Federal Managers Association, shared his top tips for federal managers:

  • Expect the best but prepare for the worst
    Develop a plan for a potential shutdown.
  • Communicate
    Reassure staff they are not alone. Encourage them to write to their respective representatives. Stay in contact with the unions. Ask hard questions.
  • Don't focus on rumors
    Don't get wrapped up in "watercooler talk." Instead, stay focused on the task.

Smith said he understands the stress that comes with budget battles. During the 1995-96 shutdown, Smith was relocating as part of a Base Realignment and Closure move.

"I was concerned I was going to be without a paycheck and it would be devastating, and I had a lot of out of pocket money re-establishing myself in a new state," Smith said.

He added, "In my situation, it was very stressful bc my wife and I both worked for the federal government."