A 2014 round of buyout and early retirement offers at the SBA did not fully achieve its goals of restructuring and reshaping the workforce, the IG there has said in a report that serves as a warning to other agencies considering using the authorities.
The incentives induced 149 employees to leave, the report said, but produced only “limited” progress toward the intended workplace changes. Of the $5.6 million spent, it said, some $2.1 million went to employees whose positions were not later restructured.
As a result, it said, the incentives did not help the SBA address its workforce competency and skills gaps, improve the pipeline of early career employees to become future leaders–the average age of agency employees remained the same at a relatively high 51–or relieve budgetary pressures.
“Overall, SBA may have been more successful in achieving its goals had it properly managed the VERA-VSIP program by developing specific and measurable VERA-VSIP goals, including accurate information in the VERA-VSIP plan, making significant changes to its organizational structure, and making substantial changes to job functions following VERA-VSIP,” it said.
The agency said it will conduct an after-action review to document the lessons learned and that it will provide written guidance outlining strategies for any future offers of those incentives.