Conducting Policy Analyses on Staff Retention and Leadership in WB6 Administration

Well-performing and talented civil servants are indispensable for smooth and efficient execution of public authority in modern governments. To that end, a policy designed to retain high-quality staff has become a sine qua non in internal policies and procedures in public administration. An evidence-based staff retention policy, if fully implemented, leads to an increased employee motivation and job satisfaction, among all improved career advancement possibilities, rewarding schemes, opportunities to learn and professionally develop and maintain a good work-life balance. Managing human resources by recognising and promoting talents creates favourable environment for positive peer pressure, encouraging innovation and creativity. It further gives managers more freedom to award top performers. Ultimately, such a system builds a community of civil servants with strong commitment to serving to the public interest. In addition, Western Balkan administrations face challenges in shifting old cumbersome procedures into modern, citizen-oriented ones. The transformation paths often lack leadership and innovation spirits, which results in slow and painful reform processes. The need for transformational leadership is crucial to respond to growing demands from public administrations. The administrations therefore need to revisit the current official frameworks and practices to create an atmosphere where leadership skills of young public administration professionals will be systematically nurtured and developed.

The purpose of this research is to identify the key reasons behind the trend of young professionals leaving public administration and provide recommendation on how to overcome this challenge. To provide an analysis of the state of play regarding the staff retention in Western Balkans administrations, this research will focus on the following set of research elements:

  1. Staff turnover and HRM capacities (number and quality of HR personnel)
  2. Existence and quality of a comprehensive regulatory and institutional setup for staff retention
  3. Salaries and financial conditions
  4. Performance appraisal, career advancement and rewards
  5. Professional development opportunities

In addition, the research will also focus on the following set of research elements:

  1. Existence and quality of official mechanisms and structures for promoting new leadership in public administration (regulatory framework, networks, centres for excellence, training centres, professional development programmes, etc.) – setting the base for building leaders
  2. Currently defined roles and expectations of young professionals (e.g. compences, job requirements, job descriptions, competency frameworks, expectations in practice) – enabling or limiting leadership potential
  3. Leadership building values and culture – the unwritten rules for enabling young leaders and administration (for example related to promoting result-orientation, soft skills, building communication skills, managing, and motivating people, and similar).

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