Creating jobs is a big issue in today’s economy. With high unemployment levels in many places across the country, it might seem that any job is a good job. Yet, there is a high turnover rate among employees of all levels at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Why is that?

Here is Part 1 of a piece I wrote exploring why DHS is a tough place to earn a living.

Why Is DHS A Crappy Place to Work? – Defense Media Network

There are lots of lists that people and organizations want to see their name on. They’re lists with categories like “Most Successful,” “Most Admired,” “Best Dressed,” and “Best Place to Work.”

Since its inception nearly a decade ago, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has never made any of those lists. In fact, the lists where they do find their name affixed are the very lists on which no one takes pride in seeing their name appear. They are lists with headings that read, “Worst Place to Work,” “Least Job Satisfaction” or “Worst Workplace Morale.” These are, needless to say, the shameful high school superlative categories from Hell.

So why is DHS such a crappy place to work? That’s a question that’s been the subject of a number of Congressional hearings as well as any number of studies and analyses. The answer is as complicated as the department’s creation.

Let’s face facts. The creation of DHS in the months following the 9/11 attacks was not pretty. Any time you forge long established operating components and their unique cultures (e.g. Customs, FEMA, Secret Service, Coast Guard, etc.) together in an almost overnight fashion; give them a next-to-impossible mission (“make sure there are no bad days”); and micromanage and second guess every breath and movement they take (via a ridiculous amount of Congressional oversight); you can’t expect it to be a wonderland. It’s like multiple organ transplant surgeries without ever checking for blood type and donor matches. You wouldn’t normally do it, but if you’re desperate, you might try anything to survive.

Read the full story.

Rich Cooper blogs primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More