Future of Work - Talent Retention & Trust - Institute on Governance

Future of Work – Talent Retention & Trust

With guest contribution from David Scouler, Managing Director at CultureRx. This blog post is part of a series from the Institute on Governance and our partners which examines the Future of Work. To stay up to date, follow along on our blog, or sign up for our newsletter to get exclusive access to posts before they go live!


The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat.

Those words stir up memories of the drama that unfolds during the game and the anticipation of how the sporting event will turn out.  There will be winners and of course the others.

This has relevance in the unfolding drama in the workplace today and perhaps more importantly, in the future.  The unquestioned goal is keeping, attracting, and growing critical talent for organizations to achieve victory in the pursuit of their mission and purpose.  

In public service the competition is fierce and getting more so as the private sector runs the ball down the field with their transformative workplace initiatives to win the battle for best talent.

Let’s draw some parallels. 

How does a team prepare for a big game and a winning season? 

How do the athletes prepare, physically and mentally?

What is seen and heard in the locker room?  What are the coaches doing and how is that impacting individual players as well as the team?  What does practice look like? What happens if a key player gets injured? 

You get the picture.

The thrill of victory in the workplace is marked by many similar elements.  Player and team productivity, their health and strength, understanding the strategies and tactics of “the game”, and the ability to stay focused on winning.

What constitutes winning? Building trust with the public and serving the customer effectively in the ways in which they wish to be served.

Today’s competition with the private sector is well underway and we see companies poaching key talent and providing a workplace culture that is very attractive and designed to treat employees in the ways that they wish to be treated – trusted with autonomy and celebrated with the achievement of the most meaningful results.  That looks a lot like a path to victory however the game is still being played.

Public service departments and agencies need to ask the question:

Are we up for the competition and if so, how are we preparing to win?


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