Collaborative Leadership in Government

The Partnership for Public Service study Best Places to Work Snapshot: The Federal Leadership Challenge highlights: “Leadership is the most important factor when it comes to driving employee satisfaction and commitment in the federal government.” While there has been positive trends over the last decade, only 50% of government employees are satisfied with their senior leaders.

  • 48% were satisfied with the information they receive from top management about what’s going on in their organizations
  • 43%  felt their senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment
  • 46% felt personal empowerment with respect to work processes

The survey broke out leadership rankings by 30 federal agencies. The Army finished 11th (T), Navy 12th, Air Force 13th, and OSD/Joint Staff 15th.  The Top 5 were the NRC, FDIC, NASA, State, and OPM while DHS finished last.

Leaders who focus on communication and empowerment will yield significant results from their workforce.

Senior leaders – how do you communicate to your organization?  How do you share your vision, assessment of the organization, industry trends, priorities, key programs, and initiatives?  If your employees wanted to learn more about these areas, how would they go about doing so?  What about your external stakeholders?

This is where collaborative web-based tools should play a central role to enable your communication strategy, beyond your weekly staff meetings and monthly/quarterly all-hands meetings.  Public websites, internal collaboration platforms, and a suite of tools should be part of your daily operations.

  • Leaders who blog regularly can effectively communicate across their enterprise and enable employees to ask questions, provide feedback and ideas, and collaborate among each other.
  • Wikis are powerful tools enable everyone to effectively contribute to and access their collective knowledge. From drafting a simple memo to compiling an enterprise-wide knowledge repository, wikis are rapidly taking hold within business operations.
  • Collaboration sites enable discussion forums and employees to self organize into groups based on areas of interest to engage on the organization’s challenges, projects, and innovations.

Leaders should aggressively explore how these sites and tools can transform your processes, policies, and culture to get your employees more actively engaged and committed to the organization’s mission, priorities, and outcomes.


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