The current systems government-wide rely primarily on time spent in the office and perceived “business” to determine productivity rather than objective outcomes that contribute value to agency missions. I propose developing solid, objective performance metrics for each position in the government, and then converting the current hourly systems into true salaried positions. The results will pay back the cost for evaluating work many times by allowing agencies to:
• Establish and maintain legitimate performance incentive systems
• Eliminate tenure as a part of worker retention (i.e. stop promoting and retaining just because someone has a lot of time in the agency)
• Enable telework as a real strategic option
• Shape work processes to meet true agency needs
• Eliminate unnecessary meetings, conferences, and the like
• Establish and maintain legitimate performance improvement programs
• Creating and managing jobs to achieve maximum employee engagement
• Compare worker value to the organization through objective, “apples to apples” outcomes
• Move or remove unproductive “dead weight” from the payroll
• Allow better job definitions to improve recruitment based on the needs of the job, not just the series that occupies the desk currently
• Facilitate process and performance improvements by recruiting and retaining experts in the actual work done (e.g. hire certified business analysis to do analysis work in business units instead of field technical experts, engineers, or mathematicians)
• Establish meaningful connections between operational and support functions within agencies
• Accurately represent employee expectations, contributions, and best practices
• The list goes on!
It is important to note that significant literature exists regarding the measurement of white-collar productivity, and a lot of the work emphasizes measuring and reporting jobs that are non-routine. The biggest part of making progress in this area is tracing job tasks to higher-level business functions (e.g. interviewing is a task of the HR business function; invoicing is a task of the purchasing business function; etc.). It may require difficult discussions however, because there are meetings and other “busy work” assignments that do not contribute to a business outcome, and it is necessary to eliminate these. In the end, work that does not result in progress in a business function of the agency is not productive.