Story Jam Recap: Building the Digital Workforce of the Future
By Mateo Haddad, Communications and Change Management Consultant, Wheelhouse Group
Over the past year, we collected and shared stories of change. Throughout the year, we have gathered virtually to discuss these stories and distill them into insights and actions to help our whole community become better at change.
Earlier this month, we gathered in honor of Public Service Recognition Week to explore how we can build the government’s digital workforce of the future. The panel, hosted in partnership with the Digital Services Coalition, highlighted “boomerangers” who have worked in BOTH government and industry, including roles at USDS, 18F, USAID, state government and the White House.
Our four storytellers shared their experiences and discussed what type of public servants and skills are needed to meet government priorities, including improved customer experience, increased diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), a more robust remote-focused workforce and increased digital transformation across government.
Here is a roundup of key takeaways we heard. We hope this will inspire you to listen to the full recording on our Stories of Change page.
- Boomeranging between sectors is beneficial for everyone. Moving back and forth between sectors is no longer frowned upon. The skills needed for digital transformation are sharpened by working in multiple sectors and moving among several jobs.
- Moving between government and industry is a real differentiator. Both public and private organizations should consider offering more opportunities for exchanges – tours, fellowships, sabbaticals, etc. – to share knowledge and strengthen public-private partnerships.
- Bureaucratic barriers are limiting diversity. The rigidity of specific qualifications and lengthy hiring process dissuades many from joining the federal government and produces a homogenous workforce in all areas – skill sets, backgrounds, ethnicity, gender and disabilities.
- Focus on people In building the workforce of the future, digital transformation requires a focus on people. Everyone needs to bring soft skills around managing people, change and communications – not just technology.
- Promote a culture of intellectual curiosity. Encourage your workforce to ask questions and challenge assumptions. This will help them build muscles they need to succeed and lead in the future.
In addition to these five takeaways, speakers also shared these great resources to help us all on our journeys to digital transformation.