Connecting state and local government leaders
Government employees are seeking nontraditional benefits and diversity, equity and inclusion, among other things, according to a new report.
Recent research by MissionSquare Research Institute spotlights strategies and steps governments can take to be employers of choice during the Great Recession and the pandemic.
The six workforce trends the research recommends watching in 2022 are:
Leveraging Public Sector Pride
The strain of the pandemic on essential workers, especially teachers, has been substantial. However, there has been a revitalized sense of public service pride and increased exposure of the essential work these employees perform, according to the report.
Public sector employers can leverage this pride and appreciation to attract new employees, including those who previously would not have considered a profession in government, the report contends.
According to the report, employers will need to support staff with Employee Assistance Programs, wellness programs, flexibility in work arrangements and other strategies to limit stress.
Otherwise, top workers may consider leaving at a time when about 30% of public workers say they may change jobs and join the ranks of the Great Resignation, MissionSquare Research Institute says.
Supporting Retirement Security
Given the actions of many governments to pay required contributions to pension plans, along with healthy investment returns, overall public pensions are “stable and well positioned” heading into the new year, according to the research.
Also, the report says defined contribution plans continue to play a vital role in supporting retirement security in the public sector, both as primary and supplemental savings.
Thinking Beyond Traditional Benefits
While retirement and health benefits will continue to be a prominent part of public sector benefit offerings, innovative government employers will also explore how to support their employees in building emergency savings and adopting other nontraditional benefits, the report contends.
Some of these benefits are student loan repayment and holistic health and financial wellness programs.
Prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Maintaining a diverse workforce and engaging the individuals hired as valued contributors to the team can help with retention and morale in addition to fostering creativity, productivity and improved organizational performance, the report says.
As with many aspects of management, collecting and analyzing DEI data is important to recruitment, staff development, succession planning and adjusting to ongoing waves of retirements and the emerging impacts of automation, MissionSquare says.
Focusing on Drivers of the Great Recession
Employees are rethinking their professional plans and where they want to work. While this is concerning for the public sector, it is an opportunity to focus on what gives public sector employers “a competitive advantage” and how they can respond to issues that came to the forefront during the pandemic, the report says.This includes flexibility, remote work, child care, paid family leave and mental health.
For more information from the MissionSquare Research Institute report click here.
Andre Claudio is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.