The government is notoriously inefficient — not just the U.S. government, but government in general. Typically, the larger government becomes, the more inefficient it gets. Private industry holds several lessons and best practices from which the government should take note. Here are three examples of these lessons.
1. Personality Profiles
Personality tests are used in private businesses to assess people’s work styles, communication approaches, and character attributes. The information helps people to better understand not only themselves but also those around them, which helps improve the team dynamic, organizational culture, and productivity.
A variety of profiling systems have been used effectively by myriad organizations. Utilizing personality profiles like government contractor DISC consulting to improve government employee performance and organizational culture should yield a return on the investment through increased productivity and greater efficiency.
2. Performance-Based Advancement
Instituting a meritocracy would have enormous benefits for the government. Instead of people biding their time until retirement kicks in or obtaining career advancement as a result of how seasoned they are, government employees should be incentivized based on performance. If incentives were tied to performance instead of time on the job, the government may run more efficiently and job satisfaction may improve. Meritocracies yield the best results in private industry and they are the way to go within the government, too.
3. Flexible and Remote Work Options
There is no reason the government can’t try to be competitive within its workforce just as the private business sector is within itself. Sure, government (and bank) employees tend to get more federal holidays off than the public does, but what about offering work-from-home options or a 4-day work week? Or what about gym memberships and health incentives such as food options at work or massages?
The business sector has demonstrated time and again with employee perks at companies such as Netflix and Google that these incentives not only differentiate these companies from others, but they attract talented recruits, which turns into increased productivity. Why shouldn’t government agencies do everything they can to attract a talented workforce, increase efficiency, and run smoothly?
The private business sector has a case study after case study that demonstrate the effectiveness of programs and incentives that attract talent and generate large returns on their investment. Things like personality profiles, performance-based career advancement, and flexible work options illustrate the point. The government should continue to build these programs into its infrastructure as well.