Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has just released its annual report for 2022-2023, and the findings are concerning. The attrition rate among civil servants has soared to an alarming 16 percent during this period, with 4,822 individuals leaving their positions. Of these departures, 3,413 were voluntary resignations. This troubling trend raises pressing questions about the sustainability and appeal of a career in the civil service, demanding urgent reform.

When civil servants voluntarily exit secure and stable positions, it’s imperative to delve deeper into the root causes. Are these departures symptomatic of a broader disenchantment with civil service as a viable career path?

To effectively address this escalating issue, a thorough examination of the underlying motivations behind these resignations is necessary. Is the allure of the competitive job market, promising superior remuneration and career prospects, luring civil servants away? Or is dissatisfaction with working conditions, job roles, or growth prospects within the civil service driving them out? Are there other concealed factors at play?

One of the pivotal determinants influencing career choices is compensation. As the cost of living continues to escalate, it’s imperative that civil servants receive competitive salaries. Failure to offer an attractive compensation package, commensurate with private sector or international opportunities, poses a severe challenge in both retaining and attracting top talent. Home ownership and income security play a vital role in retaining civil servant.

Career progression and development prospects are equally vital. Civil servants must have access to avenues for honing their skills, specialising in their fields, and ascending to leadership roles. Fostering a culture of continual learning and advancement is key to rendering the civil service more enticing. Mentorship initiatives, robust training programmes, and well-structured career pathways can be pivotal in achieving this objective.

Job satisfaction stands as a crucial factor. Civil servants ought to find their work meaningful and fulfilling. Cultivating a work environment conducive to creativity, innovation, and collaboration can markedly enhance job satisfaction. Additionally, ensuring a healthy equilibrium between work and personal life is essential to avert burnout and attrition. Measures such as flexible working hours, remote work options, and comprehensive employee wellness programmes can significantly contribute to creating a positive workplace atmosphere.

Streamlining bureaucratic processes within the civil service can amplify its appeal as a career choice. Simplifying administrative procedures, reducing red tape, and fostering a culture of efficiency can yield a more vibrant and rewarding work environment.

Of particular concern is the significant number of departures from the teaching profession. Teachers are instrumental in shaping Bhutan’s future. Ensuring their job satisfaction and addressing issues like excessive workloads and resource constraints should be a top priority. Acknowledging and rewarding outstanding educators can bolster morale within this critical profession.

Ultimately, rejuvenating the civil service and rendering it more attractive necessitates unwavering commitment from the government. Recognising the indispensable value of a proficient and motivated civil service is the initial step. The government must engage in a comprehensive dialogue with the RCSC, civil servants, and experts to forge a robust strategy addressing these concerns. This strategy should encompass competitive compensation, potent career growth prospects, job satisfaction enhancements, and the eradication of bureaucratic bottlenecks.

Civil service is the bedrock of our nation, pivotal for our development. To perpetuate and enhance the quality of public services, immediate reforms are indispensable. By redressing compensation disparities, expanding career growth horizons, bolstering job satisfaction, and simplifying administrative processes, the RCSC can ensure that civil service remains dynamic, capable, and unwaveringly dedicated to the nation’s progress.