Analyzing the Link Between Compensation and the Quit Decisions of Civil Service Employees
Federal civilian managers must compete in the same labor markets as do private employers. Federal managers, however, have far less freedom than do their counterparts in the for-profit sector in offering the compensation necessary to attract and retain qualified workers. Detailed civil service guidelines stipulate the grade, or rank, that any person can receive for the training and experience required for any particular job. Similarly, each grade is limited to a fairly narrow salary range. Where someone falls within this range depends on his years of experience and, for supervisors under “merit pay,” his performance. As a consequence, even the most talented inexperienced person must start at the bottom before climbing the ladder to higher paying jobs in the career Federal service. For experienced workers, rewards for outstanding achievement are, with a few exceptions, a small percentage of regular salary.
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