7:40 am, May 22, 2015

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  • Agencies fight uphill battle to retain critical knowledge and skills -- this is only part of the challenge
    While the issue of workforce turnover and knowledge loss does involve retirements, this is only one small part of the larger challenge. Turnover affects not only the workforce, the seniors, but also affects the leadership. Further, workforce turnover also results from promotion, termination, job change, career change, layoff -- all examples of ways that knowledge -- think people -- leaves the workforce. In and of itself, this is part of the normal talent management (HR) cycle (e.g. acquire, hire, train, sustain, exit). The problem, the challenge arises because federal government agencies neither have a consistent nor disciplined way to capture, adapt, transfer, and reuse the critical and relevant knowledge of their workforces. Further, government is not really focused on performance. Rather, it is focused on compliance and there is not really an imperative, with the exception of some agencies with "life or death" missions, to focus on the capture and retention of knowledge with any serious intent. It is more complicated than this but this assessment I have found to be true relatively broadly across the government. ...and yes, there are proven and successful ways to mitigate this risk of knowledge loss but it requires (1) a longer term investment in solutions that just focusing on a single fiscal year basis, and (2) leadership who truly understand the imperative required demands the solution because they are focused on performance, not compliance. Coincidentally, I will be discussing this on Government Contracting Weekly this Sunday, June 9, at 0700 on WUSA 9. I also have several examples of government organizations with enlightened leadership with whom together ,we are addressing this challenge.
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