Federal Workforce and the Potential Challenges Ahead


On Monday, December 18, the Washington Post[i] reported that the Trump Administration is considering how to reduce the cost of the federal workforce.  Reports indicate that they are considering wage freezes and restrictions on step increases, reduced employer contributions to health care, retirement, paid holidays and other benefits, new formulas for calculating pensions, and increased empowerment for terminating workers. Those strategies are in addition to budget instructions to federal agencies to shrink the size of the workforce itself.

Such strategies are being considered at a time when most labor economists are predicting a tighter labor market, and especially scarcities in highly sought career fields such as the sciences, cyber security, and cutting-edge technology.

As the Post author, Joe Davidson, said today: “Rather than making the government a model employer, the proposals would unite Uncle Sam with employee-regressive business practices designed to maximize profits.”

So, how will Federal agencies retain their best talent?  How will they recruit the best and brightest to serve the public in critical jobs? 

Jobs and career website Glassdoor maintains a growing database of more than 8 million employee reviews for more than 540,000 companies worldwide.  Scott Dobroski, a Glassdoor spokesperson, reported that their data suggests that the three leading drivers of long-term employee satisfaction continue to be: “culture and values, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership.”

If you are a Federal executive or manager, the ball is in your court.  You continue to play a vital role in recruiting and retaining employees despite the challenges confronting Federal agencies in a time of retrenchment. Are you prepared for the challenge?

A-G Associates serves leaders who want to improve their own or their organization’s capabilities or capacity. We provide advice, expertise, facilitation, and support services in collaboration with our clients to build high performance teams, manage change, and achieve mission success and organizational excellence.  Our services are sought by progressive organizations that.

  • Value teamwork, partnership and stakeholder engagement,
  • Seek innovation, enlightened management, and responsible stewardship, and
  • Commit to delivering exceptional mission outcomes, memorable service, and enduring impact in our communities and our country.

[i] December 18, 2017