Strategy Plan One
August 7, 2012
Whether you are an employee in the private or public sector, or self-employed, we all take in the angst from the client groups we serve.
However, with extremely high expectations of government services, taxpayers and clients of government programs vent a bit more, show more frustration and sometimes treat government workers differently.
Government employees work on all levels, assisting entrepreneurs to assisting citizens in every government program under the sun. They are there, employed to serve the public. However, the perception and behavior towards public servants is quite shocking, and sometimes to the point of being disrespectful. This occurs despite the fact that on the other end of that kiosk or government counter is a very valuable, highly educated individual who can really help you if you tap into these resources and programs.
When you hear public servants, much negativity exudes from the critics. Common comments include, “they are lazy”, “overpaid”, “cushy jobs”, “useless”, and “uneducated”, “biased”, “never helpful”, and on and on. Yes, very harsh terms for dedicated employees who serve the public on a daily basis.
Obviously these comments are furthest from the truth. The deepest job cuts in this recent economic climate, have occurred with public servants in the US and Canadian governments. This comes after much human resources investment and years of corrective public employment processes, in some cases hiring the best and brightest work force. Government institutions have implemented “employment appointments based on merit“… meaning the candidate must pass the highest scrutiny of meeting the job criteria. It’s not easy getting into the public service.
The modern public service is a very educated and experienced work force, due to job criteria and the abundance of applicants for government jobs. This highly competitive employment process results in the highest qualified, ranked candidates out of the bunch of applicants. It is sometimes common, especially in these economic circumstances, to find that government employees are heavily over qualified.
Government Jobs – Pay and Benefits
Depending on jurisdiction, pay isn’t always the greatest in the public service, especially when the majority of positions are classified as administrative or in program delivery. Specialized areas may pay better. Some government sectors provide ample benefits which improve the compensation package, but not to the extent of what compensation a similar position may receive in the private sector. While some senior executive level public service jobs may include a small annual bonus, the majority of the public service does not receive bonuses or incremental pay based on performance.
The human resource strategy in recent years in the public service has been to find cuts, implement efficiencies through automation and offer the public online features. Gone are the days where getting a government position was a guaranteed long-term career move. Job security in the public service seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Public servants are constantly on edge, not knowing if in the next fiscal year their jobs will be cut. It’s also a scary scenario when certain States or other jurisdictions announce that they are not sure they can pay for the next payroll.
Government Jobs – Highest Scrutiny
The work of the public service and their employees are held to the highest scrutiny, evolved around implementing the highest ethical standards and upholding good values. With government programming and staffing costs funded by the taxpayer, the public service is carefully watched, carefully analyzed. This sometimes leads to stressful environments, however, once acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of a government job, one comes to realize this as the norm.
In the modern public service, government jobs are attractive to candidates. The public service often calls for qualified candidates to take on challenging, interesting work in this global environment. The jobs can be rewarding, and can lay the groundwork for building better personal and professional capacities … applicable across the board in the private sector and in self-employment. If considering advancement in the public service, many government sectors see the value in the development and retention of valued internal employees. It is definitely worthwhile to tap into these public service employment development programs.
Remember that when you apply for government grants and programs, these public servants work hard to provide the services and products that you are requesting. Give them the time they need to complete their work in a stressed work environment. Give them the respect that all should expect. Be receptive to their ideas, feedback and recommendations to strengthen your applications and your dealings with government. Remember that these public servants have families, strive for a stress free environment and need to survive like the rest of us.
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