Federal HR offices have suffered from under-investment and lack of support for years, leading to “fragmented, duplicative and inconsistent” services, says a report from the Partnership for Public Service.
The report, which closely follows the latest of two decades of assessments by GAO that human capital management is a high-risk area for the government, says that those offices “also have struggled to innovate and meet customer needs while dealing with outdated and complex workplace laws and policies.”
“As these longstanding challenges continue to mount, the current moment brings a new sense of urgency and new opportunities for strengthening the capacity of federal HR. HR services can guide government through long-term changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic—for example by formulating new telework policies—and help agencies suffering from talent loss and declining employee engagement rebuild their workforce,” it said.
Its recommendations for transforming HR include (in its words): establish a customer experience focus; build trust through frequent and direct communication; account for culture and history when designing a transformation; purposefully challenge the status quo; establish an effective governance model; empower and grow HR staff; and beware of mission creep.
The recent infusion of $1 billion into the Technology Modernization Fund presents an opportunity to obtain up to date IT, it added.