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Approaching Change Management in the Government Sector

June 2, 2022

Government agencies face both common and unique challenges when faced with organizational change. Common challenges for the private and public sector include employee engagement, training, increased workload, turnover, recruiting, and market progressions. Unique (and significant) challenges for civic institutions are mission realignments and administration transitions. 

In order to reduce the risk of failure, adopting a sound strategy is critical. Learn how to approach change management in the government sector so you can save time, save resources, save headaches, and come out ahead in this must-win situation.

The Struggle is Real

Implementing change in a government organization is a struggle across the board, but particularly so at the federal level. Local-level agencies typically report greater success with organizational change management versus federal agencies. The continuing COVID-19 crisis, however, has exacerbated one significant challenge – employee retention. 

According to a recent survey by MissionSquare Research Institute, 52% of government employees are considering switching jobs or retiring altogether. Of those considering switching jobs, 25% may leave the public sector entirely. 

A large reason for this sharp increase in job dissatisfaction is stress and burnout due to the pandemic; nevertheless, this is a significant concern for any agency compelled to implement change. 

Other management concerns include tech upgrades, skill gaps, work quality, and resource turnover. 

Steps for Change Management in the Government Sector

How can you handle the learning curve, improve engagement, and reduce the risk of an employee exodus as you make organizational shifts? There are a few common strategies that GovStrive and other successful leaders employ that minimize negative impacts and deliver desired results:

1. Dedicate a team for change management.

This is not always a viable option for government organizations, but siloing or trying to independently implement change are root causes of failure. You need all hands on deck – together. Whatever departments will be affected by the change(s) should have a voice and a place at the table.

2. Create and organize a plan for change.

With every department represented, best practices and a reasonable strategy can be agreed upon. The more prepared you are before you begin, the better. Don’t rush the planning stage in your urgency to enact change.

3. Improve workplace environment and engagement.

Since employee engagement is such a critical factor and because the aging federal workforce is an ever-increasing concern, improving the culture should take priority. Showing employees that they are valued, improving their work-life balance, and making their environment more enjoyable are key components for successful change – and lower turnover.

4. Provide training.

Any change is useless without sufficient training. Close the skills gap by implementing comprehensive training that educates and empowers your workforce.

5. Set metrics that evaluate change management success.

How will you know if your plan has worked? Set indicators and goals, so you know if your implementation is working. Evaluate progress on a regular basis, so time and resources aren’t needlessly wasted.

Out-of-the-box Solutions for Change Management

Because creating and dedicating a team within a government agency is not always a feasible option, GovStrive offers proven change management services that are employee-focused and results-driven.

Our methods and processes bring lasting, positive transformation. Equally important, they align with the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Guidance for Change Management in the Federal Workforce. They include:

  • Assessing
  • Designing
  • Engaging
  • Empowering
  • Sustaining

When we assess, our goal is to come to a thorough understanding of what the objectives are for the change. Then we design a plan that includes messaging, rollout strategy, employee engagement, pilot testing, change platform and learning resources, a change champion network, and success measures.

Our change champion network is key in creating and sustaining employee engagement. We also focus on creating awareness campaigns, facilitating communication, workforce involvement, and help developing training materials and a training schedule.

Empower is more than just a buzzword. In this stage, we concentrate on enabling continued communications, providing just-in-time training, and encouraging ownership for those impacted by change.

When we tackle the goal of sustaining change, open communication continues to play a major role. Ongoing engagement campaigns, employee recognition, celebrating wins, and measuring and evaluating success all play pivotal roles in lasting, positive change.

Organizational goals GovStrive typically helps with include: 

  • Strategic
  • Cultural
  • Structural
  • Process
  • Technology and systems
  • HR call centers


Remember, any required change or progress is paralyzed without the support of the employees who must adopt and adapt to it. That’s why we’ve also created out-of-the-box toolkits for employee engagement, which help organizations market their change. These kits may include videos, webinars, posters, promotional gifts, e-learning modules, and more!

Change management in the government sector can be tricky. New administrations, new legislation, new priorities all make big impacts – not to mention changes in related markets and technology. Sometimes it’s just best to have an ally that already knows what to do and when to do it so that you can relax and focus on doing what you do best. 

GovStrive is a proven and reliable resource for government agencies. Let us help you implement necessary change and turn it into a positive and fulfilling transformation for you, your workers, and your mission.

Learn more about the power of GovStrive today.

FEVS 2022: Employee Engagement Trend Analysis

Federal agencies are more productive, retain more talent, and are more likely to achieve mission objectives when their employees are highly engaged at work. See how engaged federal employees are.

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