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Minutes from July 2013 Forum Meeting

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Department of Commerce:

Labor-Management Forum Training and Facilitation


    • Federal employees – not appreciated

    § What do feds do/value of the work we do?

    • Budget

    § Public doesn’t focus impacts them personally

    • Morale of employees

    § Stress

    § Decreasing budgets

    § Why are we here/stay here?

    § How do we attract people, keep them?

    • How to find the passion in working for government?

    • Ask not what your country can do for you…

    • How to communicate what the government does

    § Problem of public perception

    • Publicize how the Department of Commerce (DoC) impacts the taxpayer

    • All Commerce employees should be advertising the good work we do

    § How to engage them to do so (without pay increases)

    • Government keeping up with the latest technology (social media)

    § Success of the week

    § NWS best policies

    • Promote how government services improve

    § Each bureau takes a turn touting what we do (increased efficiency, better services)

    • “Facebook” community of people knowing what the DoC does

    • More uncertainty and less flexibility to address budget issues

    § How to deal in this environment?

    • Retirement Tsunami

    § Perfect storm: demographics and lack of respect

    § Loss of collective wisdom/institutional memory

    • Increased demand for government services with declining resources, flexibility

    • Need for increased investments

    • Institutional failure as a result equals a loss of public support

    • Need for succession planning

    • Need for public sector unions

    • Policy of phased retirements at the DoC

    • Leveraging DoC assets – tours with young people to encourage participation in science, engineering

    • DoC #5 – Doing something right?

    § What is it?

    § Analysis of data and follow-up

    • What is the “Commerce Brand”

    • With the 2014 budget, how to communicate with constituents

    § New reality of sequester

      § What can LMF do?

        § Information about budgeting

        § Budget 101, 102

    § How do we take about what this group can do?

      § Pre-decisional impediments

    • How to focus on the race to the top instead of the race to the bottom

One Big Hope:

We live in a time of remarkable change, a time for rethinking relationships among groups, organizations, and communities of all kinds. Daily, we see historic changes in the workplace, greater diversity, growth in technology and communications, and the introduction of new workplaces practices, such as telework. These changes signal a moment in time for one great hope.

    1. As you reflect on the shifts happening in the workplace, professionally, tell me about one shift that for you generates hope – one that serves to nurture your hope in the possibility of building a better world.

    • Coming up a vehicle of skills of federal employees, young people – give people greater flexibility to move around and take advantage of skills. Keep them by making them happy.

    • A different type of person is interested in working for government – a dynamic person – challenges in nurturing, engagement.

    • Improved family-friendly environments, flexible work schedules: work location, hours, schedules (due to technology).

    2. In what ways are you and your colleagues responding at work to this one big hope?

    • Flexible work schedules. More women, productivity rises, cost savings (weather, office space), teleconference bring people together.

    • Creating a flexible environment; trying to engage employees on different projects ( cross training development)

    • Taking advantage of non-primary skills that employees have

    • Next-generation affinity groups to advise management

    3. Reflect on the workplace today through the eyes of your grandparents. What would they say are the most important values to carry into the future? What would they tell you to do about it?

    • Old-fashioned customer service:

    § Respect integrity

    § Respect for government

    § People now pre-judge quickly

    § Talk to people not over people

    § Emulate what grandparents did

    • Create a better future for the kids

    • Honesty, trust, hard work, good ethics, respect for others

    • Embrace diversity and inclusiveness, flexibility in work/home life

More of: J

Less of: L

    • Interaction

    • Specific examples

    • International examples

    • Getting upper-level buy-in (how?)

    • Bottom-up approach

    • Eggs

    • Hard-boiled eggs

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