Blog Post

Shifting the Employee Productivity Curve in the Public Sector for More Engaged Employees

Steve Dobberowsky

Director, Strategy and Value Service, Cornerstone

When organizations talk about employee productivity, they talk total cost of operations versus the employee output and the difference between the two indicates the overall employee productivity. Employee productivity is a key attribute in successful organizations, yet public sector employees often aren’t aware of their agencies’ total cost of operations. Agency leadership is constantly being challenged to, "Do more with less!" Employee productivity enables organizations to be more efficient with fewer resources.

Often the public sector deploys employee engagement strategies once employees are onboard or in the middle of employees’ career. To shift that productivity curve and radically transform effectiveness and employee engagement, agencies need to start at the very beginning of, and throughout the lifecycle of the employee. Successful organizations know the secret to productivity starts before a public sector employee’s first day on the job.

What can public sector organizations do to shift the curve and increase productivity and engagement? Identify and employ smart talent management strategies that help ALL employees (new hires to seasoned employees) learn, perform, engage and produce at much higher levels.

Effective talent management strategies include five key strategies. They include the ability to do the following:

  1. Find better hires, faster. Often, public agencies rely heavily on the "post and pray" mentality. In that, if the organization just posts the position, somehow the right person will apply and get the job. Today, talent has a choice as to where to work. Make the potential employee’s decision easier by enabling employee referrals; giving recruiters better tools to find the right talent; supporting hiring managers with 360 degree feedback capabilities in the hiring process; and finding better matched competencies by hiring based on competencies.
  2. Facilitate more effective onboarding, SOONER! It is a well-known fact that organizations that make an employee feel "welcome" from day one & sooner, see significant changes in new hire behavior. Public sector employees can reduce the ramp-up time for new hires by: Streamlining the orientation and form completion; creating "community" before day one; start goal setting early and minimizing the impact of the learning curve for new employees to become productive in their new roles.
  3. Drive engagement with ongoing development, frequent feedback, and aligned goals. Once onboard, employees are a resource—and should be cared for to ensure employee engagement. Organizations can drive engagement-based productivity by: offering ongoing learningopportunities; providing ongoing, actionable feedback; and assigning goals that are aligned with both the employee’s career plan and the organizational strategies.
  4. Identify, challenge and develop high performers. All organizations have them: high Potentials or high performers. Often referred to as HiPOs, these employees are frequently considered the top talent and organizations must take steps to ensure they are engaged and given room to grow. To do so, public sector organizations must: make talent visibility a priority, engage and develop HiPOs with new opportunities and challenges; apply succession planning practices beyond the executive levels; AND be sure to compensate or reward high performers for performance.
  5. Identify and manage the actively disengaged. Too often, we see the disengaged or under-performing employees neglected, causing tremendous impact to organizational and work group performance. To be more effective, organizations need to manage actively disengaged employees more directly by: identifying the disengaged; making the performance evaluation process transparent and relevant; determining the cause of disengagement; and, being prepared to let underperforming employees go.

By deploying these strategies, public sector organizations will become more effective, efficient and engaged. Effective talent management strategies ensure public sector organizations are competitive in attracting and retaining top talent and truly shifting the employee productivity curve.

To learn more about how to shift the employee productivity curve download the whitepaper:

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