Federal Manager's Daily Report

A report from the Partnership for Public Service suggests ways to build a business case for investing in talent development in federal agencies, saying that “with competing priorities for limited agency resources, it is critical to gain buy-in from key stakeholders to ensure the success and sustainability of new and existing programs.”

The report, which summarizes findings of focus groups and a workshop conducted last year with the Cornerstone OnDemand HR consulting firm, advises to:


“Be specific and concrete” in explaining how the initiative will affect the organization’s goals and mission.

Create a “compelling, evidence-based narrative that engages your leadership. For example, you could use data on the cost of employee turnover at your agency to construct a narrative that shows both the financial impact of losing valuable employees, as well as the less evident costs of separation (such as time spent hiring a replacement) that are equally important to your mission.”

Emphasize that professional development “can improve engagement, and that typically leads to more productive employees. Employees are also more likely to stay if they feel their agency invests in them.”

“Share how you will reduce risks by preparing employees for future leadership and technical roles. Specifics about impacts are critical for making a compelling business case. Training more employees in mission-critical areas can help ensure continuity in your organization.”

Start with “short-term efforts to provide quick wins that can help you gain support and credibility from agency stakeholders. For example, launch a pilot program to test new approaches and gather data from your results that demonstrate best practices. Use the lessons you learn from these early activities to refine your strategy and tackle larger challenges.”