Webinar: Retaining Talent in the New World of Work

OctOctober 20 2021

9:00am - 10:00am


The effectiveness of local government depends on a talented, committed and experienced workforce. The competition for this talent has intensified, in part due to coronavirus-driven workplace changes. COVID-19 has caused employees across the nation to reconsider their job and career choices. One result is the “great resignation.” Job vacancies are at an all-time high, and one national survey shows that 40 percent of employees are planning to change jobs. Government leaders also predict a looming surge in retirements.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
9am PT / 10am MT / 11am CT / 12pm ET


While the public sector devotes considerable time and resources to attracting talent, we often do not focus enough on retaining talent. This is a mistake because replacing a departed employee can cost up to 150 percent of the employee’s salary. 

As a result, it is critically important for all local government leaders (and not just HR) to focus on employee retention. This session will help attendees respond to this challenge by examining:

  • The characteristics of our new world of work
  • The business case for why retention is critically important 
  • The golden rule of retention 
  • Retention challenges – and opportunities


Melissa Asher

Senior Practice Leader, CPS HR Consulting

With over 22 years of experience in human resources, specializing in training and development, test administration, and recruitment, Melissa brings a wealth of practical expertise to her Senior Leader role. As a hands-on leader, she is responsible for the growth and development of CPS HR’s Training and Development and Executive Recruitment Divisions as well as leading key business development activities. With extensive experience leading large-scale public-sector projects for licensure and certification testing, online learning initiatives, major compliance training rollouts, foundational supervisory training programs, leadership development, system implementations, and high-profile executive searches, she develops creative and valuable solutions for our clients that lead to improved organization performance.

Adding to her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of California, Davis, she is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute and has her Senior Professional in Human Resources Certificate from the Society for Human Resource Management. Additionally, she achieved an Accounting Certificate, has published numerous articles in HR and related association publications, and regularly speaks at conferences.

Robert J. Lavigna

Director of the Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement, CPS HR Consulting

Bob Lavigna is an award-winning public-sector leader and innovator with more than 30 years of experience leading government organizations and programs. He is the Director of the Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement, a division of CPS HR Consulting, an independent and self-supporting government agency. The Institute is dedicated to helping public-sector organizations measure and improve employee engagement as a key to organizational performance and service delivery. His book, Engaging Government Employees (Harper Collins), is the first book to focus on employee engagement in the public sector.

Previously, he was Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Human Resources for the University of Wisconsin, Vice President-Research for the Partnership for Public Service, and Director of the state of Wisconsin civil service system. Bob began his career with the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He was selected as a “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Bob is a past President of the International Public Management Association for HR and past Chair of the American Society for Public Administration Section on Personnel and Labor Relations. He has spoken at conferences and events across the U.S. and in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. Bob has a Bachelor’s Degree from George Washington University and a Master’s Degree in HR from Cornell University.

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