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FCW : February 2013
Andrew. "FEMA is widely viewed as a political dumping ground, a turkey farm, if you will, where large numbers of positions exist that can be conve- niently and quietly lled by political appointment," the report states. Whether a career or political employ- ee has been turkey-farmed is a matter of perception, said John Palguta, vice president of policy at the Partnership for Public Service. A political turkey farm might happen when an adminis- tration does not value the mission of a particular agency and is less concerned about its effective operation, he said. "We all know the right thing to do is take proactive action to improve [an employee s] performance to an accept- able level," Palguta said. The law also supports that, stating that an employ- ee who will not or cannot move to an acceptable level of performance should have their employment terminated. However, the law also protects federal employees from rings and separations for non-meritorious reasons --- for example, a change of political parties. Although agencies have long needed cause to remove an employee, until the 1940s there was not much of a due pro- cess if an employee was let go for the wrong reasons. He or she could com- How to prevent poor performance • Communicate clear perfor- mance standards and expecta- tions to employees. If employees do not understand what is expected of them, it will be hard, if not impos- sible, for them to meet those expectations. • Provide regular and frequent feedback on performance. Posi- tive and negative feedback, whether given in regularly scheduled meet- ings or unscheduled discussions, is crucial to ensuring that expectations are understood. Frequent feedback also lessens the likelihood that an employee will be surprised if it becomes necessary to take formal steps to resolve poor performance. • Reward and recognize good performance, informally and formally. Recognizing good perfor- mance is another way of clarifying expectations. • Make full use of the probation- ary period for new employees. Performance problems often surface during the initial period of govern- ment employment. This period is designed to provide an opportu- nity for managers to address such problems. Furthermore, an employee who is terminated during this period is not entitled to most of the pro- cedures and appeal rights granted to employees who have completed probationary or trial periods. Source: "Addressing and Resolving Poor Performance: A Guide for Supervisors," Of ce of Personnel Management February 2013 FCW.COM 27 " " Every administration has this problem of where are we putting people who politically are important for us...but practically they may not be the best quali ed.
March 15, 2013