From government shutdowns to high senior-level turnover, state and federal government employees face some of the most challenging environments they’ve ever faced.  This is the second post in a two-part series on how to keep investigative agency employees’ morale high despite these distractions, so your agency can work efficiently and retain its most experienced staff.  The first piece, Morale in the Morass: Focus on the Team, Focus on the Mission, can be found here.

Some jobs are harder than others.  Many of these jobs involve heavy physical labor, with a risk to health and comfort that most people aren’t willing to take.  Others are mentally taxing, requiring relentless precision and years of focused work that may lead nowhere.

The job of a government investigator fits neatly into this second category.  It has one other attribute that’s not common to hard jobs – it pays less than the other jobs a person with an investigator’s skill set could pursue.

Why would a person choose a hard job that pays less than easier jobs?  The truth is that there are plenty of reasons.  Some jobs like this are sought after because people believe they are important, and they enjoy contributing to society.  Some people enjoy co-workers who are intelligent, dedicated and honest, and know they can find them here.  Others simply enjoy being challenged, meeting that challenge and building an ever-less common skill set over time

To keep the employees on your team motivated, it’s important to understand what drives them to succeed and make sure that they’re getting it in their current role.  If they want to develop specific skills, help to find opportunities for them to do that.  If they appreciate a challenge, providing them with a unique career goal might enhance their productivity and increase their motivation to succeed.  And if they value positive interaction with co-workers, mentors and supervisors, make sure they’re getting those interactions every week.

Many times, you’ll hear HR specialists suggest you focus on these benefits when you can’t offer competitive pay or pay raises.  The reality is that they’re more important than pay.  When Gallup asked US employees what would make them take a job with another organization, the number one reason was that it offered the ability to do what they did best.  Number two was better work-life balance or personal well-being, and number three was stability and job security.  Higher pay was the fourth item mentioned.  If people feel like they’re valuable and appreciated at work, they aren’t likely to leave, and they are likely to keep doing the hard things they need to do for your team to be successful.

To learn how CMTS can help your investigators record, locate and report data more easily, call us at 855-636-5361 or email us at