Government Already Has a Blueprint for Implementing Pay For Performance

Government Executive: Current plans to reorganize agencies and switch to pay for performance have a historical parallel: the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency instituted such a policy change two decades ago. The initiative was a solid success—a direct contrast to the failure to implement the National Security Personnel System under President George W. Bush. The key difference was the decision to rely on employee involvement throughout the transition.

The history goes back to 1996 when what is now NGA was created by merging four offices and parts of several others involved in imagery, mapping and associated intelligence operations (the NGA name wasn’t adopted until 2004). The offices had different cultures and management styles. As an HR manager stated at the time, “They weren’t even speaking the same language.”

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