Document Name: Chapter 3 -- Empowering Employees to Get Results Part III
Date: 09/07/94
Owner: National Performance Review
Title:Chapter 3 -- Empowering Employees to Get Results Part III

Author: Vice President Albert Gore's National Performance Review

Date:7 September 1993 10:00:00 EST

Content-Type: text/ascii charset=US ASCII

Content-Length: 92972


In short, it's time our government adjusted to the real world,

tightened its belt, managed its affairs in the context of an

economy that is information-based, rapidly changing, and puts a

premium on speed and function and service, not rules and


President Bill Clinton

Remarks announcing the National Performance Review

March 3, 1993


Washington's attempts to integrate information technology

into the business of government have produced some successes but

many costly failures. Many federal executives continue to

overlook information technology's strategic role in reengineering

agency practices. Agency information resource management plans

aren't integrated, and their managers often aren't brought into

the top realm of agency decisionmaking. Modernization programs

tend to degenerate into loose collections of independent systems

solving unique problems. Or they simply automate, instead of

improve, how we do business.

The President should expand the work of the existing

Information Infrastructure Task Force to include a Government

Information Technology Services Working Group. This working group

will develop a strategic vision for using government information

services and propose strategies to improve information resource

management. Also beginning in October 1993, OMB will convene

interagency teams to share information and solve common

information technology problems. In addition, OMB will work with

each agency to develop strategic plans and performance measures

that tie

technology use to the agency's mission and budget.

Step 4: --Enhancing the Quality of Worklife

When it comes to the quality of worklife, as measured by

employee pay, benefits, schedule flexibility, and working

conditions, the federal government usually gets good marks. Uncle

Sam is a family-friendly employer, offering plenty of options

that help employees balance their life and work responsibilities.

Flextime, part-time, leave-sharing, and unpaid family and medical

leave are all available. Pilot projects in telecommuting allow

some workers who travel long distances to work at locations

closer to home.

The federal government would be smart to keep abreast of

workplace trends. Our increasingly diverse workforce struggles to

manage child care, elder care, family emergencies, and other

personal commitments, while working conditions become ever more

important. Recent studies suggest that our ability to recruit and

retain the best employees--and motivate them to be

productive--depends on our ability to create a satisfying work

environment. Johnson & Johnson, for example, reported that its

employees who used flextime and family leave were absent 50

percent fewer days than its regular workforce. Moreover, 71

percent of those workers using benefits said that the policies

were "very important" to their decision to stay with the company,

as compared to 58 percent of the employees overall.46

The federal government must maintain its "model employer"

status and keep the workplace a humane and healthy place. It must

also ensure that, as we move toward improving performance and

begin to rely on every worker for valuable ideas, we create a

workplace culture in which employees are trusted to do their


Action: The federal government will update and expand

family-friendly workplace options.47

Even under current workplace policies, federal workers still

encounter some problems. Many agencies do not fully advocate or

implement flexible work policies. For example, only 53 percent of

our employees with dependent care needs believe their agencies

understand and support family issues, according to OPM.

Thirty-eight percent indicated that their agencies do not provide

the full range of dependent-care services available. As one

example, OPM concluded that "...certain agencies may have

internal barriers that make supervisors reluctant to approve

employee requests to work part-time."48

The President should issue a directive requiring that all

agencies adopt compressed/flexible time, part-time, and

job-sharing work schedules. Agencies will also be asked to

implement flexiplace and telecommuting policies, where

appropriate. Starting next year, we will allow federal employees

to use accrued sick leave to care for sick or elderly dependents

or for adoptions.49 We will also give credit for all sick leave

to employees who have been separated from and then rejoin federal

employment, no matter how long they were out of government


Congress has written into law some barriers to improving the

federal workplace. It should lift them. By January 1994, OPM will

submit legislation to remove limitations on dependent-care

programs and give agencies more authority to craft

employee-friendly programs, such as employee benefit packages. By

March 1994, OPM and GSA will propose legislation to enable

flexiplace and telecommuting arrangements.

Finally, we urge Congress to reauthorize the Federal

Employees Leave Sharing Act which expires October 31, 1993 with a

few changes to improve program operations and allow interagency

transfers of annual leave. Voluntary leave enables employees with

family medical emergencies, who have exhausted all their

available annual leave, to receive donated annual leave from

their fellow federal workers. In just the last two years,

voluntary leave served more than 23,000 federal employees with

more than 3,742,600 hours of donated annual leave. The

dependent-care needs of more than 96 percent of federal employees

are met by the leave-sharing program.50


One of the things we learned... is that there's a strong

correlation between employee satisfaction and customer

satisfaction. If your employees are unhappy and worried about the

various baseline, basic needs, you know, of the quality of their

work life, they won't worry about customers.

Rosetta Riley

Director of Customer Satisfaction

General Motors


Action: The executive branch will abolish employee time sheets

and time cards for the standard work week.51

In a productive workplace, where employees clearly

understand their agency's mission, how they fit into it, and what

they must accomplish to fulfill it, everyone is a professional.

The work culture must send this message in every way possible.

One easy way is to put an end--once and for all--to meaningless

employee sign-ins and sign-outs on time sheets.

Many may consider this a trivial matter. But consider the

salaried Health and Human Services (HHS) employee who must still

sign in at a central location in her office every morning--and

sign out exactly 81/2 hours later. She must do this no matter how

many more hours she really works, and every employee in her

branch must sign the same list, in order of appearance.

Occasionally, when she gets caught up in a meeting or lost

in concentration at her desk, she forgets to sign the book at her

appointed hour. Supervisors have "guided" her to avoid this

problem. She tells her supervisor, who agrees that the practice

is senseless, that it discourages her from working longer hours.

"What about us overachievers?" she asks him. "You lose," he


The truth is, we all lose. Yet HHS continues to spend dollars

training timekeepers.52

The Department of Labor, by contrast, listened to complaints

from its employees about the needless paper-pushing and use of

administrative time that repetitive timekeeping required. Under

the leadership of Secretary Robert Reich, and with full backing

of union presidents who represent department employees, Labor has

begun to dump the standard time card. After realizing that nearly

14,000 of its 18,000 employees work a standard 40-hour week,

department leaders decided to trust their workers to report only

exceptions, such as overtime and sick and annual leave. Since

only one third of Labor's workforce reports any exception in the

average week, the department is already saving paper and

time--and money. Standard time records are now submitted

electronically, without bothering employees.56

The President should encourage all departments and agencies

to follow the Department of Labor's lead. The new policy will

allow for exceptions--for example, when labor contracts or

matters of public safety require them. But if we truly seek the

highest productivity from our workers, we must treat them like

responsible adults. In today's work environment, time cards are a

useless annoyance.

Action: The President should issue a directive committing the

administration to greater equal opportunity and diversity in the

federal workforce.54

President Clinton launched his administration by appointing
cabinet and senior officials who, in his words, "look like

America." In doing so, he sent a clear message: A government that

strives for the best must continue to break down stubborn

barriers that too often keep us from employing, training, or

promoting the best people.

While the President has set the stage, the current federal

workforce does not reflect the nation's diverse working

population. Overall, the federal government has yet to

successfully eliminate some discriminatory barriers to attracting

and retaining

underrepresented groups at every civil service grade level, or

advancing them into senior positions. A glass ceiling still hangs

over the employment and career prospects for women, minorities

and people with disabilities who work in the federal service.

Women account for only 12 percent of the top tier of the federal

employment ladder--the Senior Executive Service--and minorities,

nine percent.55 Serious disparity persists for both in promotion

rates to professional and administrative levels that serve as

the gateway to further advancement. The numbers for Americans

with disabilities are even worse.

Much can be done to make equal opportunity an integral part

of each agency's mission and strategic plan. The President should

issue a directive in 1993, committing the administration to

attaining a diverse federal workforce and increasing the

representation of qualified minorities, women, and people with

disabilities at all career levels. The order should instruct

agency heads to build equal employment opportunity and

affirmative employment elements into their agency strategic plans


performance agreements. In turn, agency leaders should require

managers and teams throughout their agencies to build the same

goals into their own performance plans--and should publicly

recognize those who succeed.

Step 5: --Forming a Labor-Management Partnership

The federal workforce is changing. While the number of

employees has remained constant for a decade, the workforce is

much more diverse, with more minorities and women. It is better

educated and more mobile. And more employees work in


scientific, and highly technical jobs than ever before.

Today, more than 125 federal unions represent about 60

percent of the federal workforce. That's 1.3 million civilian,

non-postal employees, or 80 percent of the workforce eligible to

participate in federal unions. The three largest federal employee

unions are the American Federation of Government Employees

(AFGE), the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), and the

National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE).

Federal employees and their unions are as aware of the

quality revolution as are federal managers. Consistent with the

quality push, federal employees want to participate in decisions

that affect their work. Indeed, GAO estimates that 13 percent of

federal workers already are involved in formal quality management

processes.56 At the IRS, for example, a Joint Quality Improvement

Process with the NTEU has spread throughout the agency--saving

money, producing better service, and improving labor-management


Corporate executives from unionized firms declare this truth

from experience: No move to reorganize for quality can succeed

without the full and equal participation of workers and their

unions. Indeed, a unionized workplace can provide a leg up

because forums already exist for labor and management exchange.

The primary barrier that unions and employers must surmount is

the adversarial relationship that binds them to noncooperation.

Based on mistrust, traditional union-employer relations are not

well-suited to handle a culture change that asks workers and

managers to think first about the customer and to work

hand-in-hand to improve quality.


We want to be full partners. We want to work. We want government

to work better. We want to be there in partnership to help

identify the problems. We want to be there in partnership to help

craft the solution. We want to be there in partnership to help

implement together the solution that this government needs. And

we're prepared to work in partnership to make some bold leaps to

turn this government around and make it work the way it should

work. John Sturdivant, President

American Federation of Government Employees

Reinventing Government Summit, Philadelphia June 25, 1993


The current context for federal labor-management relations,

title VII of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act, presents such a

barrier. In 1991, the GAO concluded after an exhaustive survey of

union leaders, government managers, federal employees and neutral

experts, that the federal labor-management relations program

embodied in title VII "is not working well." GAO characterized

the existing bargaining processes as too adversarial, bogged down

by litigation over minute details, plagued by slow and lengthy

dispute resolution, and weakened by poor management. One expert

interviewed by GAO summed up the prevailing view: "We have never

had so many people and agencies spend so much time, blood, sweat,

and tears on so little. In other words, I am saying I think it is

an awful waste of time and money on very little results." Indeed,

the cost of handling unfair labor practice disputes using this

system runs into tens of millions of dollars every year.57

We can only transform government if we transform the

adversarial relationship that dominates federal union-management

interaction into a partnership for reinvention and change.

Action: The President should issue a directive that establishes

labor-management partnership as an executive branch goal and

establishes a National Partnership Council to help implement


The President's executive order will articulate a new vision

of labor-management relations. It will outline the roles of

managers and unions in creating a high-performance, high-quality

government. It will call for systematic training in alternative

dispute resolution and other joint problem-solving approaches for

managers, supervisors and union officials. And it will call for

agencies to form their own internal councils.

By October, 1993, the President should appoint the National

Partnership Council and charge it with the task of championing

these efforts and developing the next steps. The council will

include appropriate federal cabinet secretaries, deputy

secretaries, and agency directors; the presidents of AFGE, NTEU,

and NFFE; and a representative of the Public Employee Department

of the AFL-CIO. Federal agencies and unions will assign existing

personnel to staff the council.

Action: The National Partnership Council will propose the

statutory changes needed to make labor-management partnership a


GAO cited the need for a new labor-management relations

framework that "motivates labor and management to form productive

relationships to improve the public service."60 The Federal Labor

Relations Authority, The Federal Mediation and Conciliation

Service, and several agencies have been encouraging and

facilitating new labor-management cooperation efforts. However,

their efforts are being hampered by legal restrictions that focus

on the traditional adversarial models. The council will recommend

legislation to the President to create a better framework.

Step 6: Exerting Leadership

Despite the federal government's solid core of capable

employees, it lacks effective leadership and management

strategies. In 1992, GAO delivered a stark diagnosis of the

situation. Our government, GAO reported, lacks the "processes and

systems fundamental to a well-run organization. Most agencies

have not created a vision of their futures, most lack good

systems to collect and use financial information or to gauge

operational success and accountability, and many people do not

have the skills to accomplish their missions." This situation,

GAO concluded in a burst of understatement, was "not good."61

The sweeping change in work culture that quality government

promises won't happen by itself. Power won't decentralize of its

own accord. It must be pushed and pulled out of the hands of the

people who have wielded it for so long. It will be a struggle.

We must look to the nation's top leaders and managers to break

new ground. The President, the Vice President, cabinet

secretaries, and agency heads are pivotal to bringing about

governmentwide change. It is they who must lead the charge. Under

President Clinton's leadership they are determined to make it


If we want to make the federal government a better place,

our current leadership must make it clear by what we do that,

when we offer change, we mean business. That is a promise we must

make to the entire community of hardworking, committed federal

workers. It is a promise we must keep.

Action: The President should issue a directive detailing his

vision, plan, and commitment to creating quality government.62

Graham Scott, who as Secretary of Treasury for New Zealand

helped shepherd reinvention of that country's government,

cautioned Vice President Gore, "Our experience is that government

won't change unless the chief executive is absolutely 100 percent

committed to making it change."63 CEOs of corporations the world

over echo Scott's call.

The first directive issued along with this report will

clarify the President's vision of a quality federal government.

It will commit the administration to the principles of

reinventing government, quality management, and perpetual

reengineering, as well as the National Performance Review's other

recommendations. In addition, it will detail the strategic

leadership roles of the cabinet and agencies in implementing


Action: Every federal department and agency will designate a

chief operating officer.64

Transforming federal management systems and spreading the

culture of quality throughout the federal government is no small

task. To accomplish it, at least one senior official with

agencywide management authority from every agency will be needed

to make it happen.

Every cabinet-level department and federal agency will

designate a chief operating officer (COO). In addition to

ensuring that the President's and agency heads' priorities are

implemented, COOs will be responsible for applying quality

principles in transforming the agencies' day-to-day management

cultures, for improving performance to achieve agencies' goals,

for reengineering administrative processes, and for implementing

other National Performance Review recommendations.

The COO will not add an additional position in the

secretary's or director's staff. Secretaries and agency directors

should designate the deputy secretary or under secretary with

agencywide authority as the COO. The COO will report directly to

the agency's top official.

Action: The President should appoint a President's Management

Council to lead the quality revolution and ensure the

implementation of National Performance Review plans.65

A new President's Management Council (PMC) will be the

President's chief instrument to retool management systems

throughout the executive branch. It will act as the institutional

lever to drive management and cultural changes throughout the

bureaucracy. The PMC will ensure that quality management

principles are adopted, processes are reengineered, performance

is assessed, and other National Performance Review

recommendations are



Unless everyone understands what a work process is, how to map

it, how to analyze and quantify its essential elements, no

organization will be able to reap the enormous gains in

performance that come with an involved and empowered workforce.

Frank Doyle

Executive Vice President, General Electric

Reinventing Government Summit, Philadelphia June 25, 1993


The President should appoint the Deputy Director for

Management of OMB to chair the PMC, and its progress will be

overseen by the Vice President. The council will include the COOs

from 15 major agencies and three other agencies designated by the

chairperson, the heads of GSA and OPM, and the President's

Director of Cabinet Affairs (ex officio). Its agenda will include

setting priorities, identifying and resolving cross-agency

management issues; establishing interagency task forces to

transform governmentwide systems such as personnel, budget,

procurement, and information technology; and soliciting feedback

from the public and government employees. It will secure

assistance from the CEOs, officials and consultants who have

helped transform major American corporations, states and local

governments, and non-profit organizations. In addition, the PMC

will conduct an annual performance review of the federal

government and issue an annual report to the public on its


Working together, the President, Vice President, PMC and

every agency head will carry the quality message into the

sleepiest corners of the bureaucracy. Successful and innovative

agencies will be cheered; slower moving organizations will be

prodded and encouraged until change occurs.

Action: The President's Management Council will launch quality

management "basic training" for all employees, starting with top

officials and cascading through the entire executive branch.66

However pressing the need, we cannot expect leaders,

managers and employees caught up in old ways to change overnight.

To nurture a quality culture within government, we must help the

entire workforce understand the President's vision. Unless we

train everyone in the new skills they need--and help them

understand the new roles they are expected to play--they can,

through passive or active resistance, frustrate well-intentioned

attempts to progress. So first and foremost, everyone will need

to learn what working and managing for quality is all about.

The President and agency heads must send a clear message

about their commitment by becoming directly involved in the

design and delivery of quality training in their agencies.

Therefore, the PMC, working with the Federal Quality Institute,

will begin quality training with the cabinet secretaries and

agency heads. Training sessions will focus on defining a shared

vision, developing a strategy to embed that vision in the each

department, committing participants to lead and be responsible

for change, and

establishing a process for training the next level of management.

Even as agencies reorganize around quality and customers,

their staff may need training to fulfill expanded job

responsibilities. Line staff may need to learn budget and

procurement processes. Managers may need help in becoming coaches

rather than commanders. We will pursue the goal of reaching the

entire federal workforce with quality training.

It is worth noting that some cabinet secretaries already are

up on the quality learning curve. During the past few months,

more than 60 top field managers, contract lab directors, and

assistant secretaries have joined Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary

for 6 days of total quality management training at Motorola

University in Chicago. They've agreed on a mission statement, set


department's core values, and put strategic planning in motion.

In the process, skeptics have become energized, egos have been

subsumed, hidden agendas unearthed and dispensed. In the words of

one participant, "Everyone is working as a team. We're incredibly

excited about doing better. In just 6 days of quality training,

we have moved from 'I' to 'we'."67

Other departments are hot on Energy's heels. Such agency

leadership is pivotal to moving quality forward. As quality

innovator Dr. Joseph Juran told Vice President Gore, "As we go at

it energetically in the federal government... we're still going

to see some of the agencies step out in front and everybody else

is going to watch. And as they get results and nobody's hurt in

the process, others will be stimulated to do the same thing."68


To change the employee culture in government, to bring about

a democracy of leadership within our bureaucracies, we need more

than a leap of faith. We need a leap of practice. We must move

from control to collaboration, from headquarters to every

quarter. We must allow the people who face decisions to make

decisions. We must do everything we can to make sure that when

our federal workers exercise their judgment, they are prepared

with the best information, the best analysis, and the best tools

we have to offer. We must then trust that they will do their

best--and measure the results.

Indeed, we must let our managers and workers fail, rather

than hold them up to public ridicule when they do. Only if they

fail from time to time on their way to success will we be sure

they are even trying to succeed. Someone once asked an old man

known for his wisdom why he was so smart. "Good judgment comes

from experience," he said. And experience? "Well, that comes from

bad judgment."

To transform the culture of our government, we must learn to

let go. When we do, we will release the same kind of creativity,

energy, productivity, and performance in government service that

was unleashed 200 years ago, and that continues to guide us



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