Start the New Year with Something New or Good

The New Year provides you with a refreshingly clean slate, an opportunity to reset how you’ve been doing things and give yourself and your team a new start.  This is a great time to re-think the rituals you and your teams rely upon and to establish some new habits. ...

Sixteen Goals for 2016

When we are in the middle of turbulence, we look for the smooth patch of air. That's exactly what I saw a client do back in 2010 when the organization seemed to be stretching itself to the limits. City of Richland, WA City Manager Cindy Johnson was under pressure to...

Give the Powerful Gift of Acknowledgement

Holiday gift giving in the public sector workplace can be an awkward and difficult proposition.  What’s appropriate?  How much should you spend?  Is it even appropriate and/or legal to give gifts in a public agency?  If you are pondering these questions, consider that...

Be Thankful

November is the month for giving thanks—something we should all probably do more often.  Personally, I say "thank you" multiple times every day.  But to really give thanks—to really be grateful—that's another thing.  Here are a few things I’m thankful for:...

Employee Retention Strategies: Keep the Good Ones

Public agencies across the United States are facing a silent threat.  Employees are considering their options.  Working for a public agency isn’t what it used to be and employees know it.  The greatest threat to organizational viability is the loss of talent that has...

Performance Management: Shifting Organizational Culture

Performance management is becoming THE high priority for government entities nation-wide. In fact, a Time Magazine article by Amanda Ripley said, “If we really want more effective governance, we should tie these generous [public sector employee] benefits to meaningful...

Talent Thieves Are Lurking

When our house was robbed a few years ago, it caused us to re-evaluate how we secured our valuables. Since that fateful day, an alarm system, window locks, and security doors have been put in place to help secure our most valuable possessions. We feel safer, but we...

Redefining the Public Sector

I recently heard a speaker ask, “What do you believe that you wish you didn’t?” It is a question we’re all being forced to consider these days as we go about the important work of redefining public sector employment. The expectations of a guaranteed pension, rich...

Employee Retention: Who Brings Value

Public agencies across the United States are facing a silent threat. As budget cuts are implemented and benefits are slashed, employees are considering their options. Working for a public agency isn't what it used to be and employees know it. The greatest threat to...

Trends in Performance Management: Review and Rate is Out

So how’s that annual performance evaluation process working for you? According to new research on the psychology of work from David Rock, the typical numeric ratings, rankings, and formal evaluations, without meaningful feedback, can result in reduced performance. It...
Not My Dad’s State Agency Anymore

Not My Dad’s State Agency Anymore

My father, William Finley, and I recently compared views of the world of work.  When Dad was the President of SCF of AZ, the workers’ compensation agency of the State of Arizona (he retired in 1987) there were certain "rules" that everyone in the workplace lived by. ...

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Focus on Performance, Not Pay

Focus on Performance, Not Pay

When you talk about an employee’s pay during a performance evaluation discussion, you are no longer talking about performance. Pay adjustments should follow from your assessment of the employee’s performance. However, when you discuss pay in the evaluation meeting, it...

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