Improving the Performance of Government Employees

A Manager's Guide

 Improving the Performance of Government Employees

Author: Stewart Liff
Pub Date: February 2011
Print Edition: $27.95
Print ISBN: 9780814416228
Page Count: 240
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814416235

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Getting the most out of employees in government offices is one of the legendary management challenges. With an emphasis, it seems, on protocols and processes rather than on results, government offices have often been regarded (often correctly) as bastions of mediocrity, havens for sub­standard performers, and places where rule number one was cover your. . .self.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to help recruit, train, retain, motivate, and reward excellent employees, along with holding them accountable for their department’s successes and failures.

Stewart Liff looks at government processes as being built around six major systems, separate entities with interdependent needs and purposes. From simple adjustments to major overhauls, no reimagining of a performance model should be undertaken without understanding the roles of:

• Organizational systems. How critical is your department’s organizational framework, and how does it dictate and shape everything the department does? How can you optimize it?

• Technical systems. What processes occur in your agency and who owns them? How do you indentify, quantify, and leverage their value? How do you give employees what they need without tearing everything down first?

• Structural systems. Where does your “local” organization fit within the larger government structure, and who should be doing what? What do you need to know about working with other agencies, contractors, and so forth?

• Decision-making and information systems. How do you know what to measure; where to acquire information and how to interpret it; how to use the Performance Dashboard and Balanced Scorecard; and how to present, share, and use the data?

• The people system. How can you attract and train the best people, create a dynamic appraisal system, manage individual and group performance, and even deal with poor performers?

• Rewards and recognition and renewal systems. How do you design and align powerful, results-focused plans that directly and consistently motivate and acknowledge superior performance? How do you redirect excellent outcomes toward continued innovation and creativity?

The author also provides numerous on-site examples of process and results improvement from a variety of government settings and discusses at length the different challenges (and many similarities) between performance issues at the local, regional, state, and federal government levels.

With increased scrutiny on performance, efficiency, transparency, and results, government managers and supervisors across the country need a resource to help them build the dynamic programs and concrete results their constituents demand. Stewart Liff has answered that call with Improving the Performance of Government Employees.

Stewart Liff is the author of Managing Government Employees and The Complete Guide to Hiring and Firing Government Employees. During a career of more than 32 years, he has held several senior government positions, including heading HR efforts at the Veterans Benefits Administration, where he served more than 13,000 personnel. Mr. Liff is CEO of Stewart Liff & Associates, Inc., in Santa Clarita, California.

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