It's time to talk about the presidential transition process

With the presidential election just a few months away, federal agencies are starting to prepare briefing materials for the next administration, political appointees are leaving or getting ready to head out the door, and employees are wondering how their work life will change come January.

For many civil servants, the next six months or so will be filled with uncertainty as they wait to learn the identity of their future supervisors, the status of their portfolios and the priorities of the incoming leaders. All of this has the potential to create anxiety for some employees and diminish workplace engagement, but it does not have to be this way.

Based on a number of interviews with government leaders and an examination of "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" data, my organization, the Partnership for Public Service, and Deloitte, recently published an issue brief titled "Moving the Needle on Employee Engagement During the Presidential Transition."

The leaders we interviewed had a straightforward suggestion: Communicate with employees clearly and regularly, and acknowledge that a transition is underway and change is coming. This communication should come from the current political appointees, the career senior executives and managers down the line.