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FCW Insider: Culture change via performance reviews

Can you engineer a change in culture through performance reviews? OPM and the intelligence community certainly hope so.


As reported in FCW, OPM and ODNI recently released guidelines for incorporating information sharing as a factor in the performance reviews of managers, employees and the IT staff.


Most experts agree that the difficulty with information sharing in government stems from cultural, rather than technical, issues. And experts agree that the best way to overcome cultural resistance is to hold people accountable for their behavior.


It often works in the private sector, although it takes time. Most people who receive two or three negative reviews in a row (depending on frequency) either change the way they work or look for another job. Or get fired.


Does that really work in government? We frequently complaints from readers about the lack of accountability in their agencies. Sure, an employee might receive a bad review, but nothing comes of it. The employee hunkers down and the manager looks the other way.


That is not to say this happens everywhere all the time. But it seems as if it happens often enough to raise questions about the long-term impact of this initiative.


I would be interested in hearing what readers think. Post a comment on this blog or send an e-mail to letters@fcw.com.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Oct 08, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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