Category Archives: Management

The Pains and Pleasures of Restructuring

Source: Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, IBM Center for the Business of Government, 2011

Big problems call for big solutions. And so, with the states mired in historically unpleasant fiscal times, many have decided they need to go far beyond Band-Aid solutions in favor of tourniquets and transplants….But although there’s a real attraction to restructuring government in a variety of ways, it’s not easy. Unless these efforts can actually reduce staff, increase productivity or save money by combining back office operations, it can be like reshuffling the chairs on a leaky boat (we hesitate to use the usual cliché because we don’t really think the federal government or the states are as bad off as the Titanic).
See also:
Reorganization Magic

Engaging a Multi-Generational Workforce: Practical Advice for Government Managers

Source: Susan Hannam and Bonni Yordi, IBM Center for the Business of Government, June 20, 2011

From the abstract:
The American workplace, the federal government workplace included, is undergoing a significant transition that presents both serious challenges and tremendous opportunities.

As a result, today’s managers face an unprecedented set of challenges. As organizations prepare for the coming generational shift, they need to take full advantage of the knowledge of their experienced workers, while at the same time rethinking old paradigms about what work is and how it gets done.
A major challenge for today’s Traditionalist and Baby Boomer managers is to figure out how to develop younger workers into tomorrow’s managers under a new model. A prudent question for managers is, “Do we want our legacy to be of mentoring and empowering the next generations, or of fighting them tooth and nail?” Organizations that embrace generational differences in values, ways of getting things done, and ways of communicating will thrive.

Managers who harness this unprecedented opportunity for growth, development, and collaboration, and build bridges between generations, will thrive.

Engaging a Multi-Generational Workforce: Practical Advice for Government Managers

Source: Susan Hannam, Bonni Yordi, IBM Center for The Business of Government, 2011

From the summary:
They note that even with the recession, over half the workforce is unsatisfied with their jobs and that the workforce now spans four generations. These challenges are compounded by rapid technology changes in the workplace. When taken together, they create enormous challenges for managers in both the public and private sectors.

This report examines six trends now occurring in the workplace and describes how managers can successfully engage all four generations to be committed to the success of their organization. For example, each of the four generations has different learning and communication styles, different work-life balance needs, and different preferences in how their contributions are recognized. Understanding these differences and preferences can lead to a more effective organization.

When Executives Rake in Millions: Meanness in Organizations

Source: Sreedhari Desai, Arthur Brief, Jennifer George, IACM 23rd Annual Conference Paper, 2010

From the abstract:
The topic of executive compensation has received tremendous attention over the years from both the research community and popular media. In this paper, we examine a heretofore ignored consequence of rising executive compensation. Specifically, we claim that higher income inequality between executives and ordinary workers results in executives perceiving themselves as being all-powerful and this perception of power leads them to maltreat rank and file workers. We present findings from two studies – an archival study and a laboratory experiment – that show that increasing executive compensation results in executives behaving meanly toward those lower down the hierarchy. We discuss the implications of our findings for organizations and offer some solutions to the problem.

2010 Employee Survey Results

Source: U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 2010

OPM uses employee survey results as a tool for driving positive change. The Employee Viewpoint Survey (EVS) is designed to measure work environment and human capital practices in Federal agencies. It gauges employee perceptions of leadership and management practices; rewards and recognition; opportunities for professional development and growth; and opportunity to contribute to achieving organizational mission. The 2010 Employee Viewpoint Survey results have been reviewed and analyzed to gauge OPM employee perceptions on how well the Agency is meeting the goals of strengthening, developing and rewarding its employees.

The 2010 EVS results continued to reflect increases in positive response rates when compared to the 2006 and 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey (FHCS). When compared to 2008 FHCS results, positive response rates increased in 67 percent of the survey questions. In addition, the Agency showed a higher positive response rate than the Governmentwide rate in 67 percent of survey items.

‘Upsetting the Natural Order’: Managing Employees Old Enough to Be Your Parents

Source: Knowledge@Wharton, September 01, 2010

In a new book titled, Managing the Older Worker: How to Prepare for the New Organizational Order, Cappelli and Bill Novelli, former CEO of AARP, analyze this phenomenon from the employer’s perspective. The authors lay out the business case for keeping and hiring older employees, offering suggestions as to how a multigenerational workforce can be managed in ways that benefit all three constituents — the companies, the older employees and their younger supervisors. As Cappelli notes: “The goal of our book is to point out the opportunities that hiring older workers provide, and to examine why these opportunities are not being taken up.”

In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Cappelli talks about the benefits of a rapidly expanding older workforce, the strategies some companies use to get value out of older workers and the reasons he and Novelli decided to write this book, among other topics. In the accompanying video, he describes in more detail how younger managers can work more effectively with older employees, and offers examples of companies that have managed the process well and those that haven’t.

Special Report on Health Benefits: Butting In

Source: Charlotte Huff, Workforce Management, August 2010

More employers are hitting workers in the pocketbook by adopting financial penalties to curb risky health behaviors such as smoking or, conversely, using incentives to encourage healthy habits like losing weight. Experts say careful program design is key to avoiding legal and privacy issues.

City Manager’s Compensation Survey Results

Source: League of California Cities’ city managers Department, in partnership with the the County Administrative Officers Association of California and the International City Management Association (ICMA), 2010

From the Sacramento Bee:
The average pay for a city manager in California is roughly $190,000, according to a just-released survey from the League of California Cities. Of the 468 cities and towns with managers, 90 percent responded to the survey, with more continuing to report.
See also:
Press release
Survey Results of California County Administrative Officer Salaries

Fiscal Stress and Cutback Management Amongst State and Local Governments: What Have We Learned and What Remains to Be Learned?

Source: Eric A. Scorsone and Christina Plerhoples, State and Local Government Review, Vol. 42 no. 2, August 2010
(subscription required)

Form the abstract:
The study of cutback management at the state and local levels, or the management of resources in times of fiscal decline, has evolved since its inception in the 1970s. Throughout this time, scholars have attempted to answer how and why cutback management takes place, as well as its implications for future economic development and fiscal health. However, a dearth of research exists on its use and implications across differing types of governments under differing circumstances. With a current crisis threatening fiscal health at all levels of government, understanding the effects of cutback management choices is more critical than ever. This essay reviews the evolution of the literature and proposes a future research agenda for cutback management analysis.

Managers’ Support of Home-Work Balance Affects Employees’ Health, Study Finds

Source: Deane Beebe, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, 09 September 2010

A new Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) study found that when long-term care managers are supportive of employees’ needs to balance home and work responsibilities, the employees slept longer and were less likely to have multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than employees whose supervisors were less supportive.

These research findings point to the need for training in management practices, according to the study’s authors.