Government jobs are stable. It seems like everyone knows that. It’s what makes them so attractive during a recession, and why people say it’s impossible to fire a government employee. There are things you can do that won’t impress your boss, but none of these will have any major consequences at a government job, because of the security associated with them. I think this stability allows people to slack off and be lazy at work because they know there will only be minor consequences.
Job Security in Government Jobs
The reason people think that government jobs are more stable is that to fire someone, there has to be proof of an employee being incapable or simply not doing his job functions. Not doing something well isn’t enough, so there’s a long process of documentation that can take years. It takes time for the supervisor, so many ignore it, promote to a different position so they don’t have to deal with it, or pass that person off to a different department. There is no reward for the supervisor to fire an employee, so in many cases, it’s not a priority and other things take precedence.
Insights into the Work Culture of Government Jobs
Now that we know why government jobs are so stable, we can begin to understand why people behave the way they do. A friend was working on a government contract for several months and every time I spoke to him, he complained about having to pay taxes. Why? Because the people he worked with at the government were so useless. He claimed they did about 10 hours of actual work a week, and he had to sit there thinking about how he was paying taxes into a system that paid them! Maybe I’ll have him guest post and get a good rant out.
Since there are no consequences, there’s no downside to slacking off. And I must admit, it’s hard to blame the employees. I talk all the time about enjoying life, not stressing out, and how sometimes those things are more important than money. Would you rather work 10 a week and hang out with friends the rest of the time or work 40 hours a week just to get a larger raise? I can see why they choose the easier path, but the fact that there is no punishment system only encourages bad behavior.
Reforming the System
There need to be some major changes to the system that punishes poor effort and performance. The government must hold its employees to higher standards. The Citizens Against Government Waste should start here, with the employees, and maybe, just maybe, good employees who work hard will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the government spending that seems to be spiraling out of control.
Readers, what do you think the government could do to encourage their workers to work harder? Is it time to start firing employees who don’t give their best effort?