In today’s environment of competition, LPTA, race to the bottom (insert any other overused term we throw around in the GovCon world), we all talk about “greening the staff” as a way to cut our costs on proposals. But who really does it and more importantly, who does it successfully?
Typically, we say that in the execution of a 5-year contract, we can move the more seasoned employees to other contracts and replace them with more junior employees who will learn from the best, and do their jobs more efficiently and at less cost. In reality, this means we replace seasoned and expensive employees with less expensive employees under the guise of "career advancement."
Contractors bet that a year into execution, the government will absolutely LOVE their seasoned SME’s, and therefore will cough up more funding in the out years not requiring the transition of staff.
What happens if that isn’t the case?
Contractors tell their seasoned SME that they have to take a 20%+ hit on their base salary or they yank them to a more profitable contract and backfill to the minimum labor category requirements with little to no transition or cross-training. The result? A bad taste in everyone’s mouths, most importantly the government.
What if we did what we claimed we would do in our management plans?
What if we told our SMEs in contract kick-off that we were going to start grooming their replacements and incentivized them to help train them successfully?
What if we spent the time to recruit the right person for the transition? A person wanting to work with the agency and grow professionally. What if we made our government customer part of the transition plan and they knew all along that there would be new teammates in the out years?
Imagine if we actually provided the career growth for our SMEs, built our workforce with energized, well-trained folks who could help win the re-compete and, topping it off, actually *gasp* saved the government money?
Yes, it means forethought and planning. Yes, it is harder than just asking for more funding. If you want to grow your company and your team successfully and thoughtfully - try greening the staff.
Just do it the right way, the first time.