Robbie Kunreuther

Robbie Kunreuther is the Director of Government Personnel Services (GPS). GPS provides 1 to 3-day seminars to Federal agencies in four subject areas: Dealing with performance and conduct issues; Developing sensible performance appraisal criteria; Fostering cooperative labor-management relations; and Applying mediation skills in the workplace. Over the years, Robbie has trained thousands of Federal supervisors, managers, HR specialists, and union officials. For more information about him and GPS, go to

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Why Do Feds Join Unions and Pay Dues?

The author poses this question to FedSmith readers: if you currently pay or used to pay dues to a federal employee union, why did you choose to do so?

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How Many Psychologists Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

How Many Psychologists Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

The author says that the disciplinary process used by human resources offices in government hasn’t changed over the last 35 years and that it also doesn’t work. He outlines another approach that he says agency human resources officers should instead use that is much more effective in disciplining problem employees.

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The Incompetent Fed: A Dozen Thoughts

October 18, 2015 1:48 PM

The author discusses some of his thoughts concerning performance improvement plans. As he states in the article, “While I wish for a Federal workforce in which every employee occupies a job they are capable of performing, the thoughts that follow concern those unfortunate cases where a Fed is occupying the wrong job.”

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The Good and the Bad Union Representative

August 10, 2015 2:57 PM

What defines a “good” or “effective” labor organization and its leadership? The author says that he has recently been encountering a rash of agency officials with a profoundly negative experience of their employee representatives. He describes why he believes this to be the case and what he believes leads to these negative attitudes and experiences.

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The Myth of Consistency

Should two employees with different work histories, attitudes, and behaviors receive the same discipline for the same offense? While this may seem like a simple question, the author highlights a scenario that makes it more complicated and explains why federal managers should not always apply consistent discipline.

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Who Says We Have Unacceptable Performers?

The author says that there are too many managers who believe it’s impossible to rid the government of unacceptable performers, but that a recent report from the GAO shows otherwise. He outlines some reasons why managers tend to freeze when addressing problem employees as well as some suggestions for ways to better deal with these types of situations.

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Clear the Table!

November 2, 2014 12:51 PM

The author discusses the “table of penalties” often used by HR departments in agencies and explains why he believes it is no longer needed.

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It’s Time to Wake up and Call Back

Which is worse for a Federal agency to have, a bad employee or a bad supervisor? No doubt, the government would rather have neither, but the author says the effects of inept, biased, or malevolent leaders are among the greatest risks to your agency’s mission.

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Who Decides? Due Process May Be Due For A Redo

Fewer than 3% of the EEO cases were litigated are lost by agencies. The EEOC tried to put a spin on this disturbing statistic by noting that more than one-fourth of cases are settled and “Many of these resolutions contained favorable outcomes for the complainant, including monetary and non-monetary benefits.”

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Reconfiguring Discipline: Memos, Meetings and Money

November 11, 2013 3:09 PM

The author offers suggestions for dealing with employee behavior issues.

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Contact Robbie Kunreuther