In Engaging Government Employees, Robert J. Lavigna argues that getting public sector employees to engage fully with their work can transform organizations and enact important change. Believing that organizations where employees are engaged are more successful than organizations where engagement is low, Lavigna presents a compelling argument for actively tracking and improving engagement in an organization. The core of Lavigna’s book centers around his five-step plan to measure and improve engagement, though he admits there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
In decades past, government work was considered a noble calling, and a career in public service was something to be proud of. These days, however, public opinion has shifted. Many members of the public perceive government workers and the organizations that employ them as inefficient.
Lavigna explains that:
• Employee engagement is a concept many organizations struggle to define. The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board defines employee engagement as “a heightened connection to work, the organization, the mission, or co-workers.”
•This matters because organizations where engagement is high consistently perform better than organizations where the employees are not engaged. Despite this fact, common sense does not always equal common practice, and many organizations do not prioritize employee engagement.
• There are multiple ways for organizations to measure employee engagement. These include public sector surveys developed by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Personnel Management, as well as the Gallup “Q12” survey.
• There are five simple steps to improve the employee engagement process: plan, conduct an engagement survey, report and analyze the results, take action, and sustain engagement while re-surveying.
• There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Each organization must tailor its approach based on employee survey results, as well as its mission and core culture.
• This should be a fundamental concern to all members of an organization. That said, Human Resources (HR) plays an integral role in the process and should act as a guiding force.
• Employee engagement is a key component of making public sector jobs effective and meaningful. However, the public sector has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to boosting employee engagement.
In Engaging Government Employees, Robert J. Lavigna presents a dense, inspirational tome that aims to reinvigorate and engage public sector employees. Designed to be read cover to cover, the book includes numerous appendices, document templates, and real world examples of engagement practices found in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. A must-read for any manager who works in the public sector, this book provides actionable, tested advice for getting government employees to engage with their co-workers and organizations.