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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Federal Changes Recommended To Better Attract, Measure, and Retain Top Talent

The George Washington University Center for Innovation in Public Service, a collaborative effort between the university's School of Public Policy and Public Administration andBearingPoint, a management and technology consulting firm, has released results of a study on managing human capital in the federal workforce.

The report, A Strategic Framework for Implementation of HumanCapital Management (HCM) in the Federal Government, recommends how government agencies can better improve talent acquisition and retention in today's dynamic employment environment.

"Our center's report helps federal managers make sense of the human resource guidance coming from many government agencies," says Kathryn Newcomer, director of GW's School of Public Policy and Public Administration and of the Center for Innovation in Public Service, as well as principal investigator for the new study. "If agencies want to becomemore flexible and effective, they will have to start investing more intheir workforce. Our report provides direction and practical advice togovernment organizations to successfully develop their people."

Wendy Carr, managing director in charge of BearingPoint's Human Capital Management practice, says, "Human Capital Management leaders in governmentface a number of challenges, including competition from the private sector for talent, an aging workforce, and an outdated pay scale. This framework gives decision makers the tools to be more effective managers and build people-centric organizations that will improve the federal workforce overtime."

Based on an analysis of focus group and other data, the study details four basic needs federal managers must address to achieve success in theirhuman capital management programs: (1) reorganize and manage employees ascritical assets; (2) strategically plan for and manage staffing and skills;(3) prioritize human capital costs for sustained investment; and (4) engageemployees via communication and collaborative channels.

A symposium will beheld Dec. 12 at GW, featuring a keynote speech by Admiral Thad Allen(M.P.A. '86), commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, to discuss the results ofthis study with a panel of experts.

For information on this symposium, and further details on the study, please visit

The study is based on months of extensive interviews with federal employees in the government Accountability Office, the Army's program executive office for Enterprise Information Systems, and the Washington field office of the FBI. GW scholars conducted additional focus groups and data analysis before consulting with experts to provide an in-depth and fresh approach to human capital management reform.

The guidelines presented in the report can help leaders better integrate human capital needs into the overall short- and long-term mission priorities of their agencies. Applying the strategic framework will give managers a new approach to manage their most valuable asset -- the people who make up the federal workforce -- and allow them to move theory into practice and action.

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