Transforming State Government Workforce is Critical to Improving Public Sector Adaptability and Response to Pandemic, According to Report From NASCA, NEOGOV, and Accenture

by NEOGOV on October 23, 2020

EL SEGUNDO, Ca.; October 23, 2020 – During an unprecedented and challenging year, state government workforces have had to become more agile. To improve adaptability, state government workforces need to focus on strategic workforce management, according to a new report from the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) in collaboration with Accenture, and NEOGOV.

The new report, 2020 Job One: Transform State Government’s Workforce for Tomorrowadds to 2019 research by NASCA, NEOGOV, and Accenture on the skills gap that was released in the 2019 Job One Report. This report provides real examples from states that are taking action.

Job One 2020

“The pandemic has changed the nature of how we work, and it’s making state chief administrators rethink how we deploy our workforce, and how job roles will change in the future,” said Daniel Kim, NASCA President and Director of the California Department of General Services. “Now, workforce planning is pivotal to any public policy conversation we have. NASCA is shaping the national conversation on how state governments can attract talent and will help states prepare for the future of work by leveraging our greatest asset – our people.”to address current workforce challenges and implementing plans for the future of their workforce. It also provides guidance for state leaders seeking to transform their organization’s agility in the face of unexpected challenges.

The report provides guidance on the three most critical areas state government leaders should be focusing on: strategic workforce and succession planning, training, and performance management. Improving these areas are critical for allowing for public sector adaptability and long-term viability while meeting employee and citizen expectations. 

However, as the report explains, many state government workforces lack centralized succession planning, which will be detrimental to long-term success. In fact, only one-fifth of NEOGOV’s survey respondents from February 2020 reported centrally managed succession plans. Despite the current US workforce including five generations, Traditionalists and Baby Boomers will soon retire and leave gaps in leadership if succession planning is not put into place.

The same survey found only 13% of surveyed state and local government employees and 7% of human resource directors agreed that training is “a good use of their time.” Less than half of respondents (48%) were satisfied with their organization’s support for advancing employees’ careers.

“So much of the data in this report is eye-opening. We have helped a number of states implement technology that helps them scale the upskilling of their workforce as well as improve their employees’ performance and advance their careers, but in compiling this research, we learned that many other states appear to be way behind,” said Shane Evangelist, CEO of NEOGOV.

The report also includes best practice examples from states, such as Louisiana’s 2016 planning effort that revealed key competencies for supervisors, Pennsylvania’s development of a retirement prediction model, and Tennessee’s implementation of a statewide employee learning curriculum.

“Building, attracting and supporting needed skills and talent for public service are among the most important things state government leaders can do,” said Ryan Oakes, who leads Accenture’s global public sector practice. “It is crucial to get the fundamentals right, and so we have focused on essential, basic guidance to help create a dynamic for advancing workforce capabilities at this critical time.

According to the report, priorities for systematic improvement that have risen in importance during the pandemic and economic downturn and demand greater attention in many states should include: 

  • Executing enterprise-wide planning

  • Establishing workforce planning accountability

  • Redefining how work and services are delivered

  • Prioritizing training, re-skilling and up-skilling 

  • Advancing organizational priorities with meaningful performance evaluations

Research Methodology

The research included in the report includes insights from a focus group conducted at the NASCA 2019 national conference and a working session at the NASCA 2020 national conference. Data was collected from a survey conducted by NEOGOV from December 2019 to February 2020 that included 753 city, county and state government employees and 63 HR directors. In-depth interviews were conducted with seven state and local government officials from November of 2019 to July of 2020. 

About Accenture

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 506,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

About NASCA

Founded in 1976, the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA), is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 association representing state chief administrators—public officials in charge of departments that provide support services to other state agencies. NASCA provides a forum to exchange information and learn new ideas from each other and private partners. NASCA’s mission is to help state chief administrators and their teams strategically transform state government operations through the power of shared knowledge and thought leadership. More information at www.nasca.org

About NEOGOV

NEOGOV is the leading provider of an integrated HR, payroll, and talent management solution for the public sector. NEOGOV customers report increased employee productivity and engagement, time and cost savings, improved regulatory requirement compliance, and reduced paper processes, with a net result of better services for citizens. Serving over 6,000 organizations, NEOGOV supports organizations with intelligent HR for the public sector. More information at www.neogov.com.

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Contacts:

Joe Dickie

Accenture Health & Public Service

512-694-6422

joseph.r.dickie@accenture.com

 

Jamie Rodgers, MPA 

National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA)

859-402-9811

jrodgers@nasca.org

 

Carol Mendelsohn

NEOGOV

310-658-5736

cmendelsohn@neogov.net

NEOGOV

NEOGOV is the leading provider of an integrated HR, payroll, and talent management solution for the public sector. NEOGOV customers report increased employee productivity and engagement, time and cost savings, improved regulatory requirement compliance, and reduced paper processes, with a net result of better services for citizens. Serving over 6,000 organizations, NEOGOV provides intelligent HR for the public sector. More information at www.neogov.com.