Critical Update: How Labor Works to Hook Its Employees

Mark Van Scyoc/

Work doesn’t have to feel like work. 

People don’t say working for the federal government is like going to summer camp—unless they’re on Kristin McNally’s team at the Labor Department.

As Labor’s Director of Employee Engagement, McNally genuinely believes that “if you care about people, they’ll care about their work.” The first to serve in her position, McNally works with teams across the agency to drive culture change, focus on workers’ engagement as a department function and boost innovation in Labor's endeavors. 

While some of our other episodes this season placed a sharp focus on innovative products agencies are developing, McNally provides keen insights into how an inspiring environment and creative thinking has the potential to rapidly enhance the work that individuals do inside government—and how they feel while doing it. For example, she explains how the simple act of rebranding a meeting room at Labor as “the Think Tank” ignited more energizing and productive work engagements for many employees. “It feels like camp,” she said. 

McNally also shares unique learnings around change management and how to equally engage individuals who operate in the agencies’ regional offices outside of Washington. And as Amazon HQ2 and other private companies make their way into the city, she also has keen ideas around how agencies can compete for—and retain—the most robust workforce.

Tune in to the full episode below, or download and subscribe to Critical Update in the App Store or Google Play.