Dear Bureaucrat, My subordinates are revolting!

Dear Bureaucrat,

Two of the people I supervise seem to think they can pick and choose which decisions of our leadership they will carry out. They have argued with me a few times that work we were instructed to do was bad policy or bad management. I explained that those decisions are above my pay grade and above theirs. Sometimes it’s pretty clear they are slow-walking particular assignments they don’t agree with. What can I do as a leader to get them with the program?

Signed,
Not William Bligh

 

Dear Not William,

Congratulations! Sounds like you have a couple of engaged employees who care about your agency’s mission. They just disagree that all the decisions from above serve that mission. You need to move beyond the “above our pay grade” argument to get their cooperation.

New research by Hollibaugh, Miles and Newswander measured how powerful different factors are in government workers’ decisions to obey or rebel. They… Read the rest in Federal Times: https://www.federaltimes.com/your-career/the-bureaucrat/2019/12/26/dear-bureaucrat-my-subordinates-are-revolting/

Author: David S. Reed

David S. Reed is the public administration expert who writes Dear Bureaucrat, the advice column for people who work in the public sector, published in Federal Times.

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