The public sector is not immune to the way technology changes the way organisations do business. As such, the White House issued an executive conference to hear from government, industry and academics on the best ways to transform the federal workforce.
The goal is to change the conversation and hear different voices on a variety of topics, such as performance, pay and compensation, reskilling, workforce reform and how technology affects people.
When we compare the federal government generically to industry, there’s an opportunity for greater focus on the long-term career progression. In this scenario, the progression of skill levels is vital, not just vertical management “promotions” due to the amount of time at the job. If we take IT employees, that means skills in emerging technologies. The government is looking to retrain some 300,000 employees over the next three years by leveraging design thinking and other modern methods. Traditional change management practices just won’t cut it anymore.
The workforce session would focus on finding those alternative options, such as engaging public-private partnerships and building a community of support around continuing education.
While automation and other advancements in technology will dramatically change the kind of work being done, the requirement to find new work for longstanding employees in order to maintain that institutional knowledge is also important
In the UAE's public sector, investment in technology is at an all-time high. This has a strong impact towards long-term Federal employees who may doubt where their traditional skills can be applied.
The series of government workforce training initiatives in the UAE is a well-documented priority, for instance. The Abu Dhabi School of Government, which has welcomed 4,000 participants in its first year, is a testament to this investment. That being said, it is noteworthy to see how other governments are handling similar situations.
One thing is certain, an open dialogue bringing academics and government officials together needs to frequently take place in order to safeguard future talent.