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Howard Risher

Contributor

Howard Risher, the co-author with William Wilder of the 2016 book "Its Time for High-Performance Government: Winning Strategies to Engage and Energize the Public Sector Workforce," is a consultant focusing on public-sector pay and performance.

As the practice leader for two global consulting firms, Risher has worked with a variety of federal and state agencies, the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In 1990, he managed the project that led to the passage of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act and the federal transition to locality pay.

Risher earned his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA and Ph.D. in business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

The pandemic has highlighted long-standing public workforce problems. But the crisis has also prompted some changes that point the way to work environments that support high performance.
Competition for talent is going to intensify. Government needs new approaches to how it compensates its workforce.
Tennessee's strategy for reforming its workforce practices has produced a culture of continuous improvement.
Every jurisdiction should be comparing itself with its peers to identify problematic practices, increase productivity and reduce costs.
The private sector has long blended measurement and workforce management. Too often in government, that's not the way it works.
The public sector's workforce issues aren't going to be solved as long as the dynamics of labor markets are ignored.
The public sector's workforce challenges won't be solved by the management practices of the past. Employee buy-in is essential.
Engaging their employees could improve productivity and save governments a lot of money. But the public sector is largely ignoring the opportunity.
Eliminating layers of them would do more than save money. It would empower public workers and unleash their capabilities.
Governments have been slow to adopt management practices that are proven to dramatically improve performance. There's no excuse.