Federal Workers Are Discouraged Re Future

Of late, most of my postings have been about various failures by public sector employees to effectively management disasters and/or the lack of ability to think long-term about climate and environment changes.  As someone with a public administration background, it is discouraging to document these problems. Nevertheless, given the present environment of major dislike and disrespect for government and serious disregard of public servants by segments of our Congress, it is no wonder that the ability to anticipate and manage major disasters and crises is deteriorating.  In my opinion, the gap is growing in the emergency management field between knowledge of what needs to be done and the ability to take effective actions.

An article in today’s Washington Post brought home to me some of the indirect damage done by the recent federal shutdown and the ongoing sequester. It is titled Young Workers Souring on Federal Careers. After reading it I realized the federal workforce problems will not just be short-term but long-term if young people do not want to enter public service or make it their career. Some excerpts:

“No matter how much you love your job, everybody has their limits, their price. If Congress wanted to force young people out of federal jobs, then they are doing a great job.”

They are souring on government work just when they are needed most, experts say. The federal government is amid a retirement wave, with nearly twice as many executive branch employees leaving in the past fiscal year than did in 2009, according to federal figures.

“The shutdown was the perfect storm in turning millennials off from a career in government, ***.” “They are already everything the government is not: fast-moving, restless for change and entrepreneurial. So the shutdown was just one huge slap in the face, a wake-up call that said, “Why am I working here again?”

No one has compiled statistics on the number of federal workers quitting their jobs or looking to do so. But public employees say the chorus of dissatisfaction among young people is reaching record decibels.

5 thoughts on “Federal Workers Are Discouraged Re Future

  1. As a former Fed, the public often fails to remember that the “government” is “us” equals “people”. And that like any business, works best when there are individuals that have support, pride and empowerment in the tasks that they are charged to do, and are encouraged to be their best. As a Director of Operations now, this trend is disturbing and signals an unavailability of true talent which will in turn feed the beast that tasks and missions cannot be accomplished by government. This ship needs to be turned around if we are going to accomplish the critical investments of the nation, which are done by our public servants!

  2. Claire, reduction of size and cost by attrition is far less painful than cutting back programs. Yes, there are programs unworthy of tax support. The sequester indiscriminately cut valuable assets from programs. Have you noticed the number of agencies exempt from the sequester? Is this admission of a mistake by cutting across the board?

  3. I do not think the process is painless. If you want smaller government, reduce or end a no. of programs. Otherwise, do not leave all of them limping, which is what the sequester has done.

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