Survey Finds Decline in Promotions, Raises for Federal Workers

Susan Hall
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Work Force Challenges in 2011

Despite the improving economy, we'll continue to struggle with difficult work force challenges in 2011.

Though some performance-based raises would be exempt from President Obama's two-year pay freeze, federal workers can't be happy with Republican lawmakers' plans for federal job cuts and a five-year pay freeze.


The federal government is beset with retention issues among its work force and looking for <strong>ways to keep top talent</strong>. Said Max Stier of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, which compiled the retention report along with Booz Allen Hamilton:

With a pay freeze, budget cutbacks and hiring limitations, managers need to double down on retaining the best talent they have today.

Now a new survey finds federal workers in senior positions already have fewer opportunities for promotion and smaller raises. quotes Jim Stoeckmann, senior practice leader for WorldatWork, a human resources firm that conducted the survey, saying:

The opportunity to recognize employees and to advance is a way to motivate the work force. Especially with the pay freeze, it's going to be a significant issue.

He urged federal managers to look for non-cash ways to recognize top performers. I wrote about some ideas in this post.


Stoeckmann also talks about another problem: Nearly two-thirds of (public- and private-sector) respondents share promotion policies only when employees ask. Said Stoeckmann:

Many organizations don't do a good job of communicating the kinds of promotional opportunities, what the guidelines are when you are promoted, how raises will be determined, or recognizing employees after being promoted.

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