Federal Manager's Daily Report

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said he is open to all employee ideas regarding reorganizing the department per the OMB directive to agencies, likening the process to an ocean voyage although warning them that it “may not be that much fun.”

Tillerson spoke at a town hall meeting and said that was just one of many planned listening sessions that will include some 300 employees chosen for face-to-face meetings with departmental leadership, an online survey and other forms of feedback from employees. “I want to emphasize to you we have no preconceived notions on the outcome. I didn’t come with a solution in a box when I showed up. I came with a commitment to look at it and see if we can’t improve it,” he said.

“And I know change like this is really stressful for a lot of people … All I can offer you on the other side of that equation is an opportunity to shape the future way in which we will deliver on mission, and I can almost promise you — because I have never been through one of these exercises where it wasn’t true — that I can promise you that when this is all done, you’re going to have a much more satisfying, fulfilling career, because you’re going to feel better about what you’re doing because of the impact of what you are doing,” he said.

“You will know exactly how what you do every day contributes to our delivery on mission, and that is when I find people are most satisfied with their professional careers. And you’re going to have clear line of sight about what do you want for yourself in the future.”

Tillerson didn’t get into specifics, however. There have been reports that the department envisions shedding more than 2,000 jobs by using early out and buyout offers and restricting new hires, while merging some functions of the U.S. Agency for International Development into State.