Agency workforce concerns grow in light of government shutdown

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Katherine Coffman, former human capital officer at IRS and executive at KC Executive and Leadership Coaching, discusses what impact the shutdown will have on federal employee retention, and how to get more people on the “on ramp.”


The partial government shutdown could have a big impact on the workforce. Employees being furloughed or having to work without pay raises concerns that the government is not a stable place to work, and might cause an exodus across the federal government. Katherine Coffman, former human capital officer at IRS, says that retention issues existed before the shutdown, but were exacerbated by it.

 

“The [Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey] data says that 33 percent was ready to look for another job even if that was in the federal government or outside of the government,” Coffman said. “What is really more important is that… 4 percent of our workforce is less than 39 years old. There are very few young. And over 50 percent are over 50 years old. We have people looking at the horizon; when can they retire? And we have so few people that are young. So, getting out of college or starting a career with the federal government. How do we get them on the on ramp and how do we slow the off ramp?”