By Dan Gephart, August 19, 2020

Please don’t tell my wife this, but she’s almost always right when we debate the best way to get something done. Here’s an example: I realize we’re out of bananas, just as I’m preparing a smoothie. So as I grab my car keys, I holler: “I’m running to the supermarket to get bananas.” She replies: “Don’t we need lightbulbs for the kitchen, too, and batteries for the remote? And while you’re out, what about dropping off the bag of food at …”

I don’t hear that last part because I’m out the door. I have one mission: Getting bananas. I want a smoothie. Why worry about that other stuff? But later that night when I go to turn on the kitchen lights and the last remaining bulb remains dark, I get the look. I storm out of the kitchen and turn on the TV. Click. Click. Nothing. Remote needs new batteries. And then I hear: “You know, you could’ve saved yourself time while you were out …”

She’s right and she understands efficiency. Take the right steps now to make your life easier in the long run. Why make three separate trips to three stores in the same vicinity, when you can do it all in one trip?

We preach a lot about efficiency here at FELTG. I mean A LOT. It’s what we do. But instead of unnecessary car trips, we help rid supervisors of unnecessary actions when it comes to handling performance and conduct issues.

Let’s face it: Life as a federal supervisor, particularly during a pandemic, is quite difficult. Why make it harder?

My favorite slide that you’ll find in many of FELTG’s materials is what we endearingly refer to as the “dreaded yellow donut.”

Read about the concept of the yellow donut here. Basically, the donut is a reminder to take the minimum steps in performance and conduct actions. The more unnecessary steps you take, the harder it gets, the longer it takes – and the more likely you are to make a mistake.

As we found out in my interview with Dennis Dean Kirk last week, OPM’s Employee Services Team wants to make sure federal supervisors are appropriately “equipped to address performance and conduct issues.” (Sidenote: Oh, how I wish I was interviewing Mr. Kirk about his experiences as a new MSPB member.)

As baseball announcer Mel Allen used to say: How about that? It’s not just a FELTG thing. It’s an OPM thing, too. So go out and grab a donut (and anything else you need while you’re out), then register for the FELTG flagship program UnCivil Servant: Holding Employees Accountable for Performance and Conduct, which will be held virtually on September 9-10 from 12:30 pm – 4 pm ET.

Or if you’re an HR Director, team leader. or attorney advisor, and you want to reach a larger group of supervisors, bring UnCivil Servant: Holding Employees Accountable for Performance and Conduct to your office virtually or onsite. Don’t do it because it’s a FELTG thing, or an OPM thing. Do it because it’s the right thing. [email protected]

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