As they work to build the workforces essential to executing their missions, government leaders need to recognize that they are competing with the private sector for talent as never before.
They face significant challenges in attracting and retaining their best people.
Conventional wisdom says that employees will leave if they are dissatisfied, but that money will make them stay. While that is a great oversimplification of the issue, people stay in a job (or leave it) for a range of reasons. Top performers want to be well compensated, of course, but they are seeking other kinds of satisfaction, primarily related to their learning, growth and future opportunities.
Exit interviews are important, but you also should do “retention interviews.” Meet with the employees you consider your top performers and ask them one question: “What more can we do as an organization to challenge you?” Most likely, you will discover that the following factors are the core of what this group is seeking:
- Characteristics of the organization
- Job design
- Career development
Governmental organizations whose leaders are deliberate about retaining their best people are well positioned to chalk up victories in the talent wars.
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