Transforming State Government Workforce is Critical to Improving Public Sector Adaptability and Response to Pandemic, According to Report from NASCA, NEOGOV and Accenture

State government workforces are being challenged by the pandemic to become more agile and adaptable and need greater focus on the fundamentals of strategic workforce management, according to a new report from the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) in collaboration with Accenture and NEOGOV.

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“Building, attracting and supporting needed skills and talent for public service are among the most important things state government leaders can do”

The new report, JOB ONE 2020: Transforming State Government’s Workforce for Tomorrow, adds to 2019 research by NASCA, NEOGOV and Accenture on the skills gap. It provides examples from states that are already putting plans into motion to address rising workforce challenges and the uncertainties around recovery and future operating conditions. It also offers guidance for state leaders seeking to build more agile workforces and organizations and improve program outcomes.

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“The pandemic has changed the nature of how we work, and it’s making state chief administrators rethink how we deploy our workforce, and how job roles will change in the future,” said Daniel Kim, NASCA President and Director of the California Department of General Services. “Now, workforce planning is pivotal to any public policy conversation we have. NASCA is shaping the national conversation on how state governments can attract talent and will help states prepare for the future of work by leveraging our greatest asset – our people.”

Strategic workforce and succession planning, training and performance management are highlighted in the report as essential areas of focus for improving public sector adaptability and longer-term viability to thrive and meet employee and citizen expectations. However, the report reveals several challenges that could significantly impact whether many states are positioned to undertake what will be needed. Drawing on NEOGOV survey findings from February of 2020, the report identifies lack of workforce management “ownership” as a concern, with only one-fifth of respondents saying their agency centrally manages succession plans. Additionally concerning, the same survey found only 13% of surveyed state and local government employees and 7% of human resource directors agreed that training is “a good use of their time.” Less than half of respondents (48%) were satisfied with their organization’s support for advancing employees’ careers.

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