Motivating career execs key to Labor's PMA top rating

The Labor Department’s management of its executive workforce was the foundation for its success as the first agency to achieve all green ratings on the most recent President’s Management Agenda scorecard.

The administration’s initiatives to improve the efficiency of government gained more traction than past efforts, in part because President Bush attached his office to the priority, said Labor CIO Patrick Pizzella, who is also the department’s chief human capital officer.

“Federal career executives don’t usually get to touch presidential initiatives. Career professionals were proud to be part of this,” he said at an industry event yesterday sponsored by Input Inc. of Reston, Va. Labor built the desire for success into its human capital function, he added.

Pizzella’s management strategy put career executives all on the same performance cycle, based on the fiscal year. He also used eight critical elements for judging performance of the executive workforce: Four were departmentwide, such as resource management, and four were agency-specific.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao also increased bonuses for performance. Chao also sent out notices to various universities’ MBA programs that Labor was interested in recent graduates. As a result, 600 applicants applied for 15 slots. She also sought MBAs already in other careers. As a result, Labor has doubled the number of its managers with MBAs over the past four years.

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