The Pentagon is facing a huge brain drain, reports Bloomberg, as civilian workers — its largest workforce — are abandoning their once desirable jobs for greener pastures.
According to the report, the Pentagon employs 776,000 civilian workers — a total only exceeded by WalMart — and morale is collapsing among employees because they feel they are being ignored — with experienced workers giving up at a record pace.
Bloomberg reports that since the election of President Donald Trump “the Center for a New American Security found that within the office of the secretary of defense between September 2016 and September 2018, the number of ‘those with five to nine years federal service has decreased by 24 percent.'”
At issue is the fact that benefits have not improved — keeping pace with uniformed employees — and hiring freezes have forced unqualified employees to take on tasks they are unqualified to perform.
“They are also, according to Foreign Policy, “an increasingly hollow and demoralized workforce, with staffers feeling they no longer have a seat at the table,'” Bloomberg reports. “Things have gone far downhill since the days when it was more or less taken for granted that a Pentagon job was a job for life. And while job turnover hasn’t reached crisis levels, it’s hitting some of the most vital areas — more than 4,000 civilian cyber workers fled last year. ”
“While other long-time civil servants who have left the department told me things were not that bad, they said the Pentagon failed to recognize or develop those who show management potential. The result is many workers being promoted to higher levels with no experience in managing, coaching and mentoring their subordinates, ‘ the report continues, adding, “It’s nearly impossible to fire unproductive workers — and hiring freezes paradoxically force the department to hold onto poor performers just so they have bodies to fill desks and push paperwork.”
As journalist Tobin Harshaw warns, “Now, if the military can’t provide career opportunities competitive with the private sector, don’t be surprised when civilians feel called to work for Walmart instead.”
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