USA Today did a study of turnover among federal employees. Turns out that in several agencies, firing rates are so low that more of their employees died than were terminated–for cause or not for cause.So, in answer to the question, “What on earth should I do if I’m not a high achiever?”, try your absolute hardest to get hired by the federal government and you’ll never have to worry about being unemployed again.
USA Today reports:
The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes.
While you might think that such a lower firing rate is cause for rejoicing, just think about the last time you dealt with a federal agency, and you’ll realise that more likely than not, such low firing means that bad employees are being retained and shuffled around. Again, from USA Today:
San Francisco State University management professor John Sullivan, an expert on employee turnover, says the low departure rates show a failure to release poor performers and those with obsolete skills. “Rather than indicating something positive, rates below 1% in the firing and layoff components would indicate a serious management problem,” he says.
Do you hear that managers? If your company never terminates employees, there is a problem with the management. There will always be bad apples, no matter how good your hiring techniques are. Things change. Sometimes good employees get lazy. Sometimes personality clashes result in extremely poor behaviour. The fact is, that firing, while painful for all involved, leads to a better workforce.
This is not to say that all federal workers are bad employees. On the contrary, many are outstanding performers. But, I suspect that more of the outstanding ones leave for private sector jobs–even though there is lower job security there.
And so, if you’re not someone who wants to consistently perform at a high level, the website to apply for federal jobs is USA Jobs.
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