12:26 am, May 23, 2015

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  • 2

  • Poor performers
    My career has spanned 3 years in the military, 22 in Federal civilian (3 agencies), and now approaching 13 in the private sector working in the Federal space. From my perspective, there is no question that the Federal civilian government tolerates poor performers more than either the military or the segment of the private sector where I have experience. In the industry supporting government, employees are routinely terminated for poor performance, and are also terminated if the employer doesn't have enough work to keep the employee busy. Turnover is quite high due to both employee-sought change of employment and employer-initiated change. I have come across organizations in industry that routinely terminate the bottom 10% of their employees following their annual performance reviews - I suspect the industry average is at least half of that - 5%. Based on the 10,000 terminations estimate provided in the article, I believe the Federal equivalent would compute to less than 1%. Seems like a huge difference to me. What I saw in the Federal civilian space were, first of all, performance agreements that were overly complex, had way too many metrics or performance points, and were more difficult to assess performance against than my experiences in the other fields. Second, the processes and rules associated with dealing with employment problems, such as performance, leave abuse, alcohol/drugs, etc., were extensive and labor intensive to navigate on a particular matter. What I saw happen was that managers would have the appropriate intent to terminate poor performing employees but would be defeated by the processes they attempted to navigate and would eventually give up trying. I saw numerous poor performing employees assigned to the "turkey farm" where they drew a pay check but were not assigned the important work of the agency, or the employees were detailed elsewhere as a "free" resource for another organization. I think all associated with Federal civilian organizations are probably not happy with this situation, both management and performing employees - there is nothing less motivating than working hard and observing co-workers put in little effort and have little or no repercussions. I observed that on numerous occasions in government - much less so in industry. I don't believe that this situation is generally the result of bad managers/supervisors - I believe it is more of a system problem.
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  • Poor Performers - Part II
    Ditto to vtpw72 Managers are not trained or don't want to invest time to get rid of poor performing employees. The managers don't do their jobs and that should be reflected in their performance reviews. Having worked at the federal level and state level in a southern state that had employee protections, it is easier at the state level to manage poorly performing employees.
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  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }