The GSA and the Future of the Federal Workplace

As the largest real estate holder in the U.S., the General Services Administration (GSA) plays a vital role in leading the nation’s acquisition operations and its overall government effectiveness. The agency employs approximately 12,000 federal workers, and oversees $66 billion of procurement annually.

Providing shared services for real estate, as well as procurement and acquisition for other agencies, GSA is uniquely positioned to take advantage of innovations that streamline both operations and overall workforce management at scale. Therefore, GSA is innovating across its critical business processes to securely achieve one of its key priorities: workforce transformation.

At the recent Docusign Public Sector Symposium, Traci DiMartini, Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) at GSA, joined Docusign in a Fireside Chat where she shared her vision for overall workforce transformation, as well as how leadership and innovation are driving critical projects across the agency.

Workforce transformation at GSA

Managing the preservation of all government buildings goes hand in hand with transforming the federal workplace and the worker experience.

“We are always ahead of the curve of other agencies, and we consider ourselves as being a ‘living lab,’” said DiMartini. “We are looking at two phenomenal ways to revolutionize how the government works. My partners in Public Building Service are focused on Workplace 2030, which will look at how government buildings will change over the next ten years.”

GSA is also working with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on the Future of Work initiative, which offers agencies guidance on transitioning to a new work environment, whether hybrid or remote.

“I am proud to work with my partners at OPM around the future of the workforce, which asks how do we remain competitive, how do we attract the best and brightest into the civil service and how do we reform the way we work and not miss a beat,” added DiMartini.

According to the Federal Employment Viewpoint survey, GSA ranked fourth place among all federal agencies in 2021, moving up from sixth place in 2020.

“This is the first time in our history that we ever broke the top five, and we did this during a pandemic,” added DiMartini. “The credit goes to the leadership at the GSA, as we figure out how to leverage technology to increase services for the workforce, and also help HR to deliver better services.”

Leadership and technology in action

DiMartini attributed much of this success to GSA leadership who helped to drive the agency’s digital transformation.

“One of the great things about working for an agency that’s not afraid to be bold is that we already embraced technology,” said DiMartini. “Our CIO, our Federal Acquisition Service and the Technology Transformation service are all about testing and showcasing the newest technologies in government.”

The leadership at GSA is also focused on enhancing the customer experience.

“Our administrator is a huge fan of technology, and has really been clear to us that it’s all about the customer experience,” added DiMartini. “So we have been shifting our mindset about how to make things easier for the customer. For me, that means job seekers. The leadership at the top of any agency is where the difference is, and it’s great to have an administrator that’s not afraid to shake up the status quo.”

Public-private partnerships also play a key role in using innovation to transform the customer and employee experiences. Industry partners, such as Docusign, are collaborating with GSA to create solutions that seamlessly integrate with legacy systems and address these workforce transformation challenges head on.

Looking ahead

In wrapping up the session with DiMartini, she reinforced how agencies should be willing to take more chances with innovation.

“It’s a privilege to work in an agency and for an administration that understands how important tech is, and how we can really move the needle,” added DiMartini. “More importantly, I work for a place that truly values its workforce. And, we do want to attract and retain the best talent.”

To watch the Docusign Public Sector Symposium on demand, click here.

Michael "MJ" Jackson
AVP, Global Head of Industries