How a Declining Workforce Impacts Agency Staff and Those They Serve
According to the Rockefeller Institute of Government only the government and the leisure and hospitality sector now consistently see actual declines in workers. “What’s more,” according to the institute, “2021 marked the highest number and rate of state and local government job openings in the past 20 years, suggesting that governments are understaffed and unequipped to deal with additional losses.”
The Great Resignation, starting in early 2021, saw employees leaving in droves for reasons ranging from COVID fatigue to early retirements. Regulatory agencies experienced unique impacts related to these job losses.
Especially in the IT sector, regulatory agencies saw a shift towards remote working in the IT industry. Younger IT professionals, demanding a remote work option, as well as additional perks, left to work in the private sector.
NASCIO Voices, a podcast from the National Association of state Chief Information Officers, interviewed New York State CIO Tony Riddick about how New York handled the new work from home expectation of employees. Riddick said, “we want to be flexible with our employees and allow them to work from home, especially in IT where we are competing with the private sector for talent. One of the first things prospective employees now ask is whether there is a remote option.”
State government, including regulatory agencies, saw record numbers of people leave during the Great Resignation for a variety of reasons, with survey findings indicating that retirement led the way.
According to the Harvard Business Review on March 23, 2022, “academic studies and online surveys alike have consistently found that the Great Resignation might better be thought of as the Great Retirement. In 2021, older workers left their jobs at an accelerated rate, and they did so at younger ages.”
With fewer employees to process work at regulatory agencies, licensees experience delays in their applications, renewals and more. Many regulatory agencies use paper processes versus digital, further exacerbating the timeliness issue. Americans now expect complete online capabilities that set standards similar to Amazon. People enjoy the freedom and flexibility that modern websites provide.
To cope with shrinking staff, regulatory agencies look to expanding remote work options, along with adding process modernization with IT solutions. The federal government actually helps regulatory agencies fund regulatory software upgrades. Learn how to use American Rescue Plan funds to buy licensing software.
For IT solutions to your agency’s smaller workforce, read the articles: How can IT support staff performance?, as well as Staff shortages have you drowning?, 6 Ways Software Keeps your Licensing Agency Afloat.