Hiring employees can be a difficult task. Retaining employees is even harder. A recent Deloitte University study revealed that almost 88% percent of America’s workforce is not operating at their full potential because they lack passion for their work.
A recent FedTech Magazine article challenges us to imagine a workplace culture where employees are encouraged to break from their normal routines to explore innovative projects that excite them. Prompted by President Barack Obama’s second term management agenda, GovConnect is such a program. The government-wide initiative is aimed at cultivating innovation and creativity, allowing employees to participate in new “passion projects” that may tap into skills that are outside of their comfort zone.
OPM’s Sydney Smith-Heimbrock describes GovConnect as “our way of really trying to model what an agile workforce looks like in the federal government.” GovConnect is comprised of the following three models:
- Deemed the “Craigslist” model by Melissa Kline Lee, Program Manager for GovConnect, employees apply to work on micro-projects designed by federal managers. The Transportation and Energy departments and Social Security Administration will launch pilots to test this model.
- GovStart promotes innovative projects designed by employees, which Kline Lee says will be a cultural change for agencies. The project has to help employees do their jobs better or benefit agencies in other ways. OPM is piloting GovStart.
- GovCloud will provide agencies access to employee skill sets that exist in the cloud. Workers may be hired by the federal government and paid by any agency to work on specific projects that require technical expertise or other skill sets. The Department of Health and Human Services has offered to pilot this model.
Twelve agencies have expressed interest in developing the GovConnect program and have agreed to design and experiment with workplace agility models. In addition, agencies have spent the past six months designing internal pilot programs that will launch in January, Kline Lee says.
For more information regarding GovConnect and worker passion, read the full FedTech Magazine article.
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