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The Public Manager Magazine Article

Culture Shift

TPM Editor Paula Ketter discusses a running thread through the November 2015 issue: culture management. Articles about recruitment, engagement, and the employee experience place responsibility on managers and supervisors to create a culture that communicates the agency mission. 

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Tue Nov 10 2015

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When you read the Insider's View in this month's issue, you will be impressed with Chairman Carol Waller Pope's commitment to change the culture at the Federal Labor Relations Authority. When Pope became head of the agency in 2009, it was last among small agencies in the Best Places to Work survey. She declared 2010 as "The Year of the Employee" at the agency, and focused on improving culture and morale through transparency and accountability.

Pope did exactly what agency leaders are supposed to do. She reviewed results of a major annual survey, and used the data to transform the culture in her agency. It didn't happen overnight, as you will read, but she put together a plan that was bought into by agency heads, management, and employees. In essence, she remade the FLRA.

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"The culture had become one of 'don't ask questions,'" Pope explains. "In the absence of information-sharing from the top, employees were filling in the spaces with misinformation and operating on misperceptions."

This month's issue also takes a fresh look at virtual training and the role that it should play in your talent development programs. In On the Horizon, Richard Culatta examines technology and learning. "The bottom line is that learning increases dramatically when we give people control over what they want to learn," he says.

Articles about recruitment, engagement, and the employee experience place responsibility on managers and supervisors to communicate the agency mission, hire candidates with ample skills to do their jobs, create a workplace that inspires creativity and innovation, and coach and mentor employees to develop their skills and increase their performance.

There is something for everyone is this month's issue. Enjoy, and if you have ideas or comments, I'd love to hear from you.

Paula Ketter

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Editor, The Public Manager

[email protected]

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