Morale In The Public Sector


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The Issue Of Government Employee Morale In Tough Economic and Political Times

No matter where you work in government, the story is similar. Deficits breed budget cuts, increased competition for resources, layoffs and cuts, and ongoing political rhetoric about how to solve government's economic problems.

It's not been a good time for "govies", and it's getting harder to maintain one's own levels of commitment and morale, particularly when most government employees to really want to make a difference.

Frustrations Immense For Dedicated Government Staff

For the burnouts, and those who simply are earning a pay-check, the tough times don't mean much, since they aren't motivated by making a difference, but for those of you who believe that public service MEANS service, and that it's an honor to help via government service, it's tough.

In this section you'll find information, and resources on the various aspects of employee morale in government, from research to tips for trying to re-energize yourself in times when it sometimes feels absolutely nobody cares - either the public, or even the senior executives in one's own agency.


Available Information About Public Sector Morale Section

Feds unhappy with leaders, new government survey finds - The Washington Post - by Lisa Rein and Josh Hicks
Most recent survey shows that US Federal government workers see their leaders in an increasingly negative light -- the lowest in fact in eleven years. (Views So Far 154 )

Boosting Morale Can Help Improve Operations - by Government Fleet
Nice article addressing how making the effort (leaders and managers) can make a huge difference in employee morale and productivity within a government setting. (Views So Far 441 )

Boosting staff morale doesn't have to cost the earth | Local Leaders Network | Guardian Professional - by James Malia
Budget cuts and restrictions continue to present challenges to public sector organisations wanting to maintain or build staff morale. Heavy workloads and reduced resources mean that staff motivation and engagement levels are under great pressure. Along with a lack of budget for pay increases, bonuses and staff rewards, the result may be discontent across the workforce. However, it is possible for local authorities to support staff at no extra cost, and even to save, by the judicious introduction of employee benefits that make use of tax and national insurance (NI) savings opportunities (Views So Far 688 )

Complaining but not quitting: Federal workers choose security despite tepid job satisfaction - Washington Times - by Valerie Richardson
Working for the government may sound like a sweet gig -- regular hours, generous benefits, job security -- but it turns out that it's not how things look from inside the bureaucratic bubble. Still employees aren't rushing out the door to leave government, at least not yet, perhaps because of a stagnant job market. Excellent article. (Views So Far 271 )

Furloughs Only The Latest Blow To Federal Worker Morale - by NPR
Story from NPR on the effects of constant talk about furloughs and sequestration. Listen to the 5 minute program, and worth taking a look at the spirited comments underneath the article. (Views So Far 218 )

How long does it take to crush a federal employee? - - by Jeff Neal
The federal workforce has been used as a political football for decades. Feds know the drill: A politician from either party needs to win points with the folks back home on the issue of cutting government. S/he makes sweeping over-generalizations about federal pay, federal employee performance or competence, unions or any one of a hundred other issues, and neatly avoids any admission of complicity in the problem. The "unelected nameless, faceless bureaucrats" are always to blame. If only they could be forced to work and the bad ones fired, our government's problems would vanish, the sun would shine and there would be peace in the world. (Views So Far 273 )

How Emotional Intelligence Can Improve Government Employee Morale - by Harry White
This suggestion that emotional intelligence on the part of government leaders can solve morale problems is a stretch. Excerpt: It was standing-room only for an Emotional Intelligence presentation for government leadership development professionals at the recent American Society of Training Developers (ASTD) conference in Orlando. When asked about the interest in this topic, many government leaders noted the reason it's becoming such a hot topic in corporate America: there is more stress in government offices today, with significant budget cuts, more long-term knowledge workers retiring, and more work to be done with fewer resources. Emotional Intelligence from leadership helps government professionals cope with these stresses and focus on the mission and getting work done in a calmer, more consistent and reliable environment. (Views So Far 326 )

Boosting staff morale doesn't have to cost the earth | Local Government | - by James Malia
Out of the United Kingdom, and targeted to local government officials, the author suggests that it's possible to boost government staff morale without spending a lot of money. Partly true. (Views So Far 285 )

Why in the World Am I Still in Government? - by Jeffrey Levy
A discussion of the sense of not being appreciated, and being victimized by government leaders pervades this discussion which may provide some insight into morale levels in government. (Views So Far 317 )

You Tell Me: Does Government Take Its Employees Seriously? - by Dave Hebert
Spirited discussion about whether employees are taken seriously by the upper echelons of government, and it's apparent there's an impact on government morale. (Views So Far 290 )

Low morale? You're not alone, new federal survey shows - by Michael O'Connell
This 2013 survey asked federal employees to rank their morale level, on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely high and 1 being extremely low. Of those who responded, 47.8 percent said their own morale was at a 3 or below. Using the same scale, 46.1 percent said the overall morale level of their colleagues in the federal workforce was 3 or below. (Views So Far 375 )

Keeping up staff morale in the U.K Public Sector - by na
According to Nicola Sullivan of Employee Benefits magazine, the age of austerity, which munched into private sector pay, reward and jobs as its first course, has now undone its top button before feasting on the public sector for dessert. A new coalition government is waiting at the table, keen to feed on the many cuts that are needed to deal with the country's deficit. Already on the table are government plans to slash the budgets of unprotected public sector departments by 25 per cent. Dean Shoesmith, president of the Public Sector People Managers' Association (PPMA - official supporter of Employee Benefits Live) and head of HR for the London boroughs of Sutton and Merton, is concerned that Chancellor George Osborne has focused too much on cuts and not enough on growth. (Views So Far 273 )

The Root Causes of Low Employee Morale And Some Tips For Managers - by ohn Schaefer
Explanation of why low employee morale is getting worse, and offers up five suggestions to managers about what they can do about it. I'm not sure it's that simple, and the tips, themselves seem a bit inadequate. (Views So Far 657 )

Improving Organizational Morale In Government - by Stewart Liff
Virtually everyone seems to agree that great organizations generally have high morale. After all, when morale is high, the employees tend to have more energy and greater focus on achieving the organization's goals. Conversely, when morale is low, employees seem to have less energy and spend more of their time complaining, looking for other jobs, or simply trying to protect themselves. In short, when morale suffers, performance suffers because employees devote far less time towards delivering results. (Views So Far 264 )

Federal employee morale has fallen, but what does that mean? - by ANDY MEDICI
A short discussion, actually, about the fall of employee morale in the Federal system, but instructive since the comments suggest some of the thing currently facing public sector staff. (Views So Far 264 )

Sadly Laughable and Laughably Sad: ICE Plans for Improving Employee Morale | Center for Immigration Studies - by W.D. Reasoner
On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the testimony of the agency's Director for Homeland Security and Justice Issues, David C. Maurer, before the House of Representatives' Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management. The topic was "Preliminary Observations on DHS's Efforts to Improve Employee Morale". According to GAO, "Over time, federal surveys have consistently found that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees are less satisfied with their jobs than the government-wide average." The disparities vary among DHS components and the questions asked, but the trend is clear. (Views So Far 245 )

Unskilled government managers hurt employee morale - by Steve Kelman
Harvard University professor suggests unskilled supervisors at the line level are damaging the morale of employees. No doubt line supervisors have a large influence, but these days, there's a lot more to the issue. (2010 article) (Views So Far 391 )

You tell us: civil service morale - Weird research results out of the U.K. - by Kathryn Dobinson
Definitely a curiousity here, since survey results indicate senior executives in British public service are dying to leave, yet they say their morale is great. It's a puzzle. (Views So Far 246 )

Boosting Morale Can Help Improve Operations - Articles - Maintenance - Articles - Government Fleet - by Grace Suizo
A happy staff is a productive staff. Thus, keeping employee morale up should be a high priority for any fleet manager. Public sector fleets, in particular, have been challenged with the task of coming up with creative - and more importantly, inexpensive - ways to ensure team productivity remains high even when budgets are low. Fleet managers from among the top public sector fleets in the country prove it doesn't take much more than strong leadership, effective communication, and a little recognition to keep operations running smoothly. (Views So Far 272 )

What's behind rising public service absenteeism? - Canada - by CBC
This CBC report tackles the rising epidemic of increases absenteeism on the part of Canadian government employees. Like to infuriate tax-payers, but clearly there's an issue regarding morale and commitment. (Views So Far 189 )

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