There was a recent story in the Washington Post entitled, Uncle Sam Had Better Start Treating His Employees Right. The story is not about courts, but there are important lessons for court leaders. The article says, in part:
The Office of Personnel Management recently released SES Exit Survey Results, reflecting the responses of 221 senior executives, from 24 agencies, who participated in the survey from April 2013 through July 2014.
One of the most troubling lines in the report said: “Work environment issues are the highest contributing factors in an executive’s decision to leave.”
The single largest factor for leaving cited by these top federal employees was the “political environment.” It was blamed as a contributing factor “to a great extent” or “to a very great extent” by 42 percent of those surveyed. There was a three-way tie for second place, among “senior leadership,” “organizational culture” and a “desire to enjoy life without work commitments.”
Court leaders cannot print their own money, but they can have enormous positive (or negative) impact on the morale of the courthouse workforce.
Many of the funding debates and discussions are conducted in forums in which court leaders are not able to unilaterally dictate the ultimate results. Where court leaders can have an influence is with courthouse-employee morale. So maybe where we can all be terribly more effective is to lead institutions with great employee morale.