This column was originally published on Jeff Neal’s blog, ChiefHRO.com, and was republished here with permission from the author.
Presidential transitions can be a time of great disruption for the federal workforce. We all know the drill — the prior appointees say their goodbyes and go away, then there is a rush of new people, new policies, and jockeying for position. Those of us who have been through it a few times usually have some tips for the folks who are newer and have not experienced it. In most transitions, by June the new appointees are arriving in large numbers.
I think it is obvious to just about everyone that this transition is not following the traditional path. Perhaps it is because the president did not really expect to win, or perhaps it is because he simply does not want his administration to follow that traditional path. Whatever the reason, we are not seeing the typical patterns and that has caused some concerns in the workforce. Add to that the president’s budget proposals and some atypical department and agency heads, and the result is a lot of stressed federal employees.
How do you deal with that stress? What can a federal employee do to survive and thrive in this slo-mo transition? I know that federal workers run critical programs that our nation depends upon, and the vast majority of feds care deeply about what they do. They really are public servants. I’d like to offer a few ideas that may help relieve transition stress.
This transition is going slower than most, so it is likely that we will see it continuing well into 2018. Finding ways to adjust to the slow rolling changes is going to be critical for feds.
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Jeff Neal is a senior vice president for ICF and founder of the blog, ChiefHRO.com. Before coming to ICF, Neal was the chief human capital officer at the Homeland Security Department and the chief human resources officer at the Defense Logistics Agency.