Federal Manager's Daily Report

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A long-time federal personnel leader has said in managing their workforces agencies should remember that “humans are not capital or resources.”

Angela Bailey made that comment at a recent Senate hearing on the 20th anniversary of the law creating the positions of agency human capital officers. Bailey recently retired from that role at DHS after a career that began as a GS-2 at SSA and led to senior positions at DoD and OPM before DHS.

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In her written testimony, she included this advice along with views on technical matters such as budgeting, job classification and alternative personnel authorities:

“All agencies are made up of humans, doing things with and on behalf of or for other humans. And the most important thing we must always remember is that humans are not capital or resources . . . they are in fact, messy, complex, brilliant and evolving. We need to ensure agencies invest in their employees and their families. As I have said many times, what goes on at home, comes to work, and what goes on at work, goes home.

“And no matter how much and how fast we deploy technology or AI and robots to ‘take the human out of the process,’ at the end of the day, there is still and always will be a human who is creating, engaging, or benefiting with and from technology. Investing in their mind, body and spirit is not ‘woo-woo’ … it is mission imperative if we want agencies and their workforces to succeed.”

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