MSPB Report - Favoritism a Problem for Workforce

A new report by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) found that, despite gains in reducing the proportion of federal employees who believe they have experienced discrimination in recent years, favoritism remains a significant issue facing the federal workforce.

Citing a figure that twenty-eight percent of federal employees perceive personnel decisions are often influenced by favoritism, MSPB Chairman Susan Tsui Grundmann stated that “our analysis reveals that such beliefs – regardless of their basis in fact – are damaging to morale, leadership credibility, and productivity.”

The report provides insights and advice for agencies and federal officials on how to take, and communicate, merit-based personnel decisions in pursuit of a workplace free from Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPPs).

The report’s executive summary states, “A significant percentage of Federal employees believe that personal favoritism undermines merit-based decision making.  Eliminating perceptions of favoritism has proven extremely challenging. Supervisors and employees often have conflicting opinions as to the influence of favoritism on the supervisor’s decisions, which may result from their differing perspectives or due to differential access to varying types and amounts of information about their supervisors’ decisions.”

The report offers recommendations for strengthening supervisory and managerial practices, as well as providing employees with an improved understanding of the merit systems and how to advance within them. Recommendations are broken down into audience categories, including agency leaders, supervisors, human resources management staff, and employees.

To access the full report and recommendations, Preserving the Integrity of the Federal Merit Systems: Understanding and Addressing Perceptions of Favoritism, click here.

Posted in General News

Tags: MSPB, Merit Systems Protection Board, favoritism

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