A friend of mine worked in 2010 in a management role within a Government department. After 3 months he had achieved all his objectives and tasks for the following 12 months. He had exceeded all his targets. This was embarrassing. It highlighted that his superiors and peers were working at a very pedestrian pace. Fundamentally it was the worst stereotype of civil servants, who do just enough to get by, exist and wait for their final salary pension.
Was there passion and inspiration from managers? Sadly not. In his estimates they could have reduced their staff by 50% and there would be little noticeable reduction in output. In frustration he resigned and recommended they did not replace his highly paid post.
Let me now add some balance. I have worked for years with many dedicated managers in the public sector who are highly intelligent and fully commit themselves. What concerns my friend and me is the lack of inspiring leadership that he and I have experienced in the Public Sector. The Private Sector has a challenge too, but not the level of the overhaul needed in the Public Sector. Ask everyone “where do you add value?”
If they don’t add real value you should review that post and change something. It is a tragedy to waste people’s talents and abilities – move them to somewhere that brings out the best in them. Every post must add value for the tax payer’s financial investment. In the age of austerity we must stop mediocrity, “jobs for life” and question every Public Sector role.