"Two employees sit in neighboring cubicles working on the same project. Both have comparable responsibilities and are equally effective. However, the similarities end when it comes to what motivates them.
The first employee works for the government and believes the work has intrinsic value and that there is a duty to serve the American public as well as possible.
The second employee, a contractor, enjoys the job but needs to work 60-hour weeks, split between this project and two others, to earn a bonus this year. The contractor also wants consideration for a future promotion up the corporate ladder.
While this may be an oversimplification, my experience in both the public and private sectors has shown that balance between these divergent motivations is critical to achieving successful results in the modern federal workplace.
This is particularly important as the federal government increasingly looks to the contractor community for expertise and cost savings when addressing some of its most pressing needs. This issue is further compounded as an in- creasing number of federal jobs are subject to competitive-sourcing initiatives under the President's Management Agenda. "