February 2017
Issue Map
The Public Manager

Mentoring Matters for Managers and Employees

Friday, February 10, 2017

"The challenge most agencies face is changing their culture to embrace new ways of accomplishing their mission. Like never before, public service is in need of innovators who are passionate about creating solutions that serve the public interest," Randy Emelo, author of the feature " Mentoring in the Middle," writes.


"The public sector needs to look beyond the seeming difficulty of managing in today's era of uncertainty and embrace a new way of addressing the emerging demands," Emelo adds. "More than ever, the work environment within agencies needs to be flexible and focused on the professional growth and development of employees for all parties to succeed."

Two of the features in this month's issue address coaching and mentoring in the federal government. The federal coaching program fosters a culture of coaching across government while giving coaches an opportunity to further their own performance and professional development.

As Cassie Brennand points out in her article on the program, a coaching culture helps an organization gain a host of positive outcomes, including, but not limited to, improved working relationships, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and turnover, increased employee engagement, and higher-quality performance conversations.

Coaching and mentoring need to be a part of any manager's employee development program because, as Brennand writes, "Integrating coaching into the fabric of an organization's talent management process—from recruitment and hiring, to training and development, to performance management, career transitions, and retirement—supports a coaching culture that will allow employees to maximize their potential on the job."

In times of fiscal constraint, training and development are often pushed to the bottom of the priority list. That is why coaching and mentoring are so important in the government workplace. They not only help employees better their development and increase their engagement, they help coaches and mentors feel valued, pass along valuable knowledge, and develop some new skills, such as listening and communicating.


This issue also highlights artificial intelligence and the role it can play in the government workplace, the critical role that the Office of Management and Budget plays in helping new administrations accomplish big goals, and the positive effect that affinity groups have on agencies.

There is something for everyone in this month's issue. Enjoy the best practices that can help you in your job, and let me know if you have ideas for future articles.

About the Author

Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.

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