Public Servants as Partners for Growth

Toward a Stronger, Leaner and More Equitable Workforce

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Public Servants as Partners for Growth:Toward a Stronger, Leaner and More Equitable Workforce compiles the main policy lessons of the work of the Public Employment and Management Network of the Public Governance Committee on reallocation of the public workforce, managing competencies, and fostering diversity. Its basic underpinning is that for the public service to make a contribution and underpin the economic recovery and growth it requires modernising its governance structures. Civil service systems are at public management’s core; hence they are central to governmental effectiveness. In the current context, countries need to ensure that the public workforce is motivated and committed to delivery, and produce change, despite the need for pay restraints and redundancies. Investments in the quality of people management, strategic workforce planning, competencies and diversity of the public workforce are critical to make it more competent, flexible and adaptable in order to have a competitive, innovative and inclusive public sector. Governments have to maintain and improve the capacity of the public service while at the same time producing savings. The key issue is seeing the public workforce as an asset and not as a cost.



Managing the public workforce through difficult times

With public finances under strain and public sector employment under scrutiny, OECD member countries are looking to operational savings measures that include wage or staff reductions and government reorganisation. Any change in the management of the public workforce should strengthen administrative capacity to perform core government functions such as public service delivery. “Good” workforce management in the public service – boasting flexibility, social skills, communication, problem solving, mission and vision articulation, delegating, and decision making – is critical, and must be coupled with a comprehensive, long-term growth strategy if the civil service is to fully exploit its potential. New generations of public employees want more autonomy to carry out their activities and develop their capabilities – and it is the managers’ and supervisors’ task to support and encourage their development. Restoring trust in quality managers will help improve public employee motivation.


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