Federal supervisors and top agency management have similar views on the two most common reasons that federal employees to under-perform, differing only in the order in which they put them, the MSPB has said.
Supervisors say the most common reason is that the employee is “not interested in performing the necessary work to succeed” while agencies most frequently say the problem is that the employee is “not well suited for their particular type of job,” it said. Supervisors ranked that the second most common while agencies similarly ranked lack of interest in performing the necessary work as second.
In its research for a white paper on within-grade raises, the MSPB asked agencies about the extent to which various factors played in performance that is not at an acceptable level of competence, similar to questions it asked supervisors in a 2016 survey it conducted asking what contributed to a subordinate’s “failure in a critical element” of a job.
For agencies, the third most common cause was “difficulty keeping up with changes in technology or how the work is performed,” followed by distractions in personal lives; lack of understanding of how to do the work; misconduct; and lack of understanding of what is expected of them.
Among supervisors, the third most common was distraction in personal lives, followed by misconduct; lack of understanding of how to do the work; and lack of understanding of what is expected of them.
In both cases, the least-cited reasons were that employees have more work than they can handle, that they are the target of an interpersonal work conflict, or that they lack the needed resources or tools.
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