If the way to get in the pool is limited.

If the way to remain in a job or at a work position is to perform in a mediocre manner, the bare minimum at work.

If the way to manage outcomes and workloads in the workplace is to focus on pushing people past their limits and ignoring their needs.

If the way to navigate change is to create an environment where resentment is fostered, where empathy is not the norm and where doing more is rewarded, not by acknowledgment and respect, but instead through a maintenance of the status quo.

If the way to improve the workforce is to send employees to training, bring them back to the workplace, and then have supervisors tell them “Yeah, we don’t do that process that way here. Forget what you were just trained on and do what we’ve always done.”

Then you might be working in public sector employment.

The fact of the matter is, people in public sector employment enter the pool of selection and stick with the work for reasons that are supremely rational: job security, guaranteed pay raises, solid health and retirement benefits that are seemingly endless, and work that—at least initially—seems fulfilling.

But while private sector work has moved (kicking and screaming mind you) into areas of human and management development that only seem revolutionary because the Industrial Revolution is long over, due to the structure of public sector work, much public-sector employment, management, selection, and recruitment remains mired in an Industrial Revolution past.

Not all public-sector employment falls in this mire, of course. But enough public-sector employment does for there to be a crisis: A crisis in empathy; a crisis with change; a crisis with emotional intelligence; a crisis in the execution of “new” ideas.

Just as in the private sector, human beings built the civil services.

And human beings can tear down, reshape, and reframe processes, procedures, policies, and rules, through the empathetic use of politics and power if they so wish.

Jesan Sorrells

Jesan Sorrells

Jesan Sorrells is the CEO and Founder of Human Services Consulting and Training and leads on HSCT's flagship product, LeadingKeys. Contact him directly at ceo@hsconsultingandtraining.com