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Federal human resources officials' top worry for 2012 is how they will keep high-performing federal employees during a time of pay freezes and shrinking employee benefits, according to a Federal News Radio survey.

Employee retention topped the list of concerns, even above the ability to hire new people, upgrading technology or program budget cuts.

However, be warned that the sample size is small -- only 10 people responded to the survey, according to the article. 

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Reader comments

Thu, Dec 29, 2011 Obvious but overlooked

Lets not foget the big problem are Congressional Representatives that choose interests based on party affiliation verses what is good for all americans. Our Congressional Representatives should be held accountable or we vote them out. However, what happens is our representatives do very little for us. Then when its election time, they run adds to convince us the other person is wrong for us. Well some of our federal workers mimic the work ethics of our elected officials. If we want change, we should not continue to elect the same congressional leaders for decades and expect a difference in leadership.

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 Voice of Reason All across America

The Federal Human Resources Executives in this survey are concerned about both the short term and long term effects the current congressional politicking will have on recruitment and retention. Unfortunately few, if any, of our Congressional Representatives are able to envision the long term detrimental effects they are causing. It is clear that our government is in a serious financial crisis and certainly some reasonable steps need to be taken to rein in the problem. It is reasonable however to single out the workforce for cuts that save 2 or 3 billion while refusing to consider cuts of hundreds of billions in pork barrel boondoggles? The constant vilification of the Federal Workforce does nothing to help the situation and is likely to make things worse in the long run.

Fri, Dec 23, 2011

Pay cuts and hiring freezes have adverse long term effects. The best are no longer attracted, or leave, while the substandard are all that is available to the hiring manager. This just sets the stage for future problems and ends up costing more: if you have substandard performers, as soon as you get funding, you need to hire more; and significant management time is wasted trying to correct the mistakes of, motivate and train poorly qualified employees and dealing with the complaints of unequal treatment by the non-performers. We pick the best available candidate, but are we picking from the bottom, middle or top third of the class?

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 Interested Party

They are right to be concerned. Annecdotal evidence is already showing retirement numbers are up significantly. Wait 'till you see what happens if the pay freeze is extended.

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 Fedup Fed

The salary freeze is the complely wrong approach. Those with just a few years in the government with current skills and are willing to relocate will leave. Those with 35 years in the government will stay because they are from a generation where their work is their identity. Those who were promoted to a grade far exceeding their skill level will stay. GSA needs to make it easier for non-performers to be removed without collecting years of paperwork, and to make it easier for desk audits so people are paid according to the required skills for their position. (this includes management) Also do away with Unions for any white collar position above grade 11 or equivalent. The Unions have their place, but not with the higher grades where individuals are expected to have strong communication skills. Arbitration could be used instead. The Unions like to include the higher grades to leverage they represent a huge body of employees, eventhough only a small portion of those employees pay dues to the Union.

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