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.



The government shift to competency management

Governments are increasingly adopting competency management as a system for both clarifying the specific abilities – knowledge, skills and (importantly) behaviours – needed for a given job, and ensuring effective performance from employees. This shift from the traditional approach to job description, selection, development, appraisal and rewards is seen as a vehicle for bringing about necessary cultural change and injecting more flexibility, adaptability and entrepreneurship into organisations. Proper integration of competencies into a framework allows human resource management to develop strategic workforce planning, and employees to develop their career plans. Organisational readiness, stakeholder commitment and periodic review are among factors needed if the system is to succeed.


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