Public sector workers make decisions every day that shape how and for whom essential public services are delivered. Yet 1 in 3 federal workers is eligible to retire in the next year, and Millenials are not filling the vacancies fast enough. Almost 40% of front line workers quit in the first two years of service, and more than half report feeling burnt out. We believe that governments can improve the services they provide by paying more attention to the people called to deliver those services. By focusing on this critical resource — the human resource — the mission of The People Lab is to support government partners in designing and evaluating strategies to better recruit, retain, and motivate public servants.
We are a team of public management scholars, behavioral economists, and public policy experts, who use a combination of quantitative analysis and direct experimentation in all our work. In each case, projects are co-designed with government partners in order to ensure that any solutions are feasible in the short term and scaleable in the medium-term. Importantly, the People Lab provides analytical support to government partners, so that public managers can understand and use the administrative data they are already collecting. The purpose of each project is to provide rigorous academic evidence of what works, while also providing a practical toolkit for public managers who are dedicated to improving their workforce.