Workforce Wonk

By Alyah Khan

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Managers: Put down the BlackBerry and engage your employees

When leaders are trying to develop a more collaborative culture at a federal agency, technology plays an important role. But it’s not just technology that fosters openness and transparency. It’s also the development of personal relationships, according to Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry.

Berry, speaking at a Knowledge Management Conference on May 2, told the managers in the room that organizational success depends on “engaging your people.”

He explained that if agency managers are looking at their smart phones in the elevator and in line at the cafeteria instead of talking with employees, they are sending a clear message about their priorities.

Instead, managers must create an environment that encourages employees to speak up and be heard. Otherwise, managers and supervisors will be left high and dry in times of need. If you, “wait until you're amidst the crisis, no one is going to come to your aid if you’ve been the one in the BlackBerry,” Berry said.

Do you think federal managers spend too much time staring at their smart phones and not enough time engaging employees? How can managers reach out to their employees and develop a more open culture?

Posted by Alyah Khan on May 03, 2011 at 12:20 PM


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