Workforce Wonk

By Alyah Khan

Blog archive

John Palguta on new management

In tight budgetary times, federal managers play an important role in keeping their workforce happy and productive. And some experts say that the duties of a manager have become even more critical in the current age of a two-year government pay freeze and proposed federal workforce cuts.

I recently met with John Palguta, vice president of policy for the Partnership for Public Service, to discuss what federal managers can do in tough times to maintain a thriving work environment.

Palguta, a former fed with more than 30 years of federal human resources management and public policy experience, said many of the things he has learned about being a good manager have come through observing the people he worked for in government.

He shared the following story with me about one federal manager that stood out from the rest.

“I had one manager who came in new to the organization and sat down with all of us,” Palguta explained. “She said, ‘I’m new to the organization. You guys have been here. What is it that I can do as your new director to make this place better?’”

“We all had ideas and she wrote them down,” Palguta continued. “But the thing that really made an impact was then she posted this [list] outside her office. It was our suggestions. Some of them she couldn’t do and she told us that. But others she could do. We wanted more flexible work hours and that was in her authority so she would check it off the list. We wanted some different technology and she got that for us and she crossed it off.”

“Not only did she listen,” he concluded. “She set goals and let us know that when those goals [were] accomplished. That’s very powerful.”

My full interview with Palguta will appear online and in Federal Computer Week's print edition on February 28.

Posted by Alyah Khan on Feb 08, 2011 at 12:20 PM


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