04/28/2014 05:13 pm ET Updated Jun 28, 2014

What to Do When Managers and Employees Aren't on the Same _age

Employees and managers frequently hold different views on the workplace, and that is to be expected. But it can be spell trouble if the gap between employees and their managers is wide on issues that are central to job satisfaction and performance, including merit-based promotions, training and development, and work life balance.

A recent analysis of the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" data by my organization, the Partnership for Public Service, and by Deloitte, found some unsettling trends in the federal space.

Government-wide, for example, far more managers than employees believe that promotions are based on merit and that employees are rewarded for creativity and good work. Leaders also tend to believe they are even-handed and don't play favorites, a view not as widely held by their employees.

It is important for agency leaders to identify extreme differences in views and understand why these divisions exist. While improving the staff/manager alignment alone will not solve workplace problems, it can be used as one tool for helping to resolve tensions and make your agency a better place to work.