By Sophia P. Nasher
“The tip of the iceberg is approaching and if we don’t take action now, we will be losing valuable government employees.”
These very words, stated by Michael Hager, former director of the Office of Personnel Management, summed up a resonating theme at a leadership roundtable our organization—Center for Human Capital Innovation–hosted.Simply stated, during bad economic times and drastic cuts on the horizon, federal organizations need to be more efficient with spending and retaining the best employees.The roundtable had top leaders from government come in and share their experiences with one underlying theme constant in every speech:one of accountability during lean times.
An increasing number of government organizations are justifying costs to prepare for budget cuts and sequestration threats. If warnings from senior leaders in government aren’t sufficient to make a compelling case, just look at the numbers. According to the Budget Control Act of 2011, in an attempt to cut federal spending across the board, there is a projected$2.1 trillion cut across the board. So now that you have hard numbers and warnings from senior leaders across government, you may ask the daunting question,“How do I prepare for the projected trend?”If your organization currently does not have a methodology for reporting or determining costs, then you may want to consider an approach that is being used worldwide in about 44 countries known as the Return on Investment (ROI) calculation. One primary example is Alice Muellerweiss, the dean of Veteran Affairs Learning University, who has implemented measures and strategies to keep the best skilled people in her organization and to maximize investments. She implemented the ROI model to help her organization; within nine months, she was able to transform her organization through hiring and professional development. In return, she had a more productive workforce with low attrition rates. After all, every organization is vying for the limited federal money, and justification of costs will help set your organization apart from others and make you a greater candidate for federal funds. In addition, your organization will be better prepared for the inevitable budget cuts. We can prevent another titanic by preparing our employees on Uncle Sam’s boat.
Has your organization prepared for the budget cuts and sequestration threats? What calculation or methodology will help foster a more efficient and productive workforce?