Video and flexible retention the key to battling government brain drain

15th March, 2012 - Posted by Meredith Lawrence - No Comments

The federal government is a complex machine that runs on the labor and institutional knowledge of a very broad and exceptionally skilled group of government employees. From the Department of Education to the Department of Homeland Security, government agencies are able to serve their constituents and move towards achieving their missions because of the people doing the work day in and day out.

With the government workforce aging and a large population of baby boomers about to enter retirement, agencies are facing a new challenge. As these employees walk out the door, so does their knowledge.

According to a recent article by Federal Computer Week, agencies are looking to change the traditional concept of retirement while simultaneously battle the ensuing “brain drain” concerning them today. Instead of making retirement a final parting of ways with longtime employees, agencies are instead embracing flexible retention.

Flexible retention is the concept of keeping employees around in a reduced capacity in an attempt to get as much productivity and knowledge out of them as possible, instead of losing all of it completely. In the case of federal employees, they could stay with their agency part time and in mentor roles, where they’re training the next generation of government employee on the information and skills needed to keep the agency moving forward.

And there are benefits to flexible retention on both sides. The government doesn’t experience the feared “brain drain” that would result from a mass exodus of government employees retiring. The retirees get the ability to ease into retirement and continue earning an income.

But what about employees that are interested in retiring away from the agencies where they worked? What if these employees planned to retire in Florida, Arizona or some island somewhere? Also, what if the grind of frequent commutes is too much for retiring employees to take?

This is why flexible retention coupled with telework and advanced Unified Communications (UC) technologies, such as video teleconferencing (VTC) is the best answer.

By enabling retiring employees to ease into life after their government careers via telework, agencies can ensure that they stick around and make the experience better. Allowing these employees to telework enables them to contribute regardless of where they’re located and can virtually eliminate the need for unneeded travel and commuting.

By embracing VTC solutions, these employees can conduct training classes and have face-to-face communication with the younger federal employees they’re mentoring from anywhere. They can also communicate and collaborate with their coworkers as if they were in the same office.

Flexible retention is an incredible idea from stemming the “brain drain” that agencies are soon to be confronting. By providing these employees with flexibility in their schedules, coupled with the ability to telework and communicate via video with their coworkers, agencies can increase the number of employees that choose to stick around and ensure that they get the most out of them.

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