An improved civil service system will produce a capable and engaged state workforce that is able to adapt to new challenges in serving the people of California and will reflect the diversity of the population it serves.

Our Vision

Making California the employer of choice: The House We Are Building

Our Report to the Legislature

We shared our progress with state lawmakers: CSI Report to the Legislature

Employee Engagement Survey

Civil Service Improvement started with the first ever statewide employee engagement survey.

Issue Areas


  • Making it less complicated to get a state job
  • Rewriting and eliminating outdated and onerous laws and personnel rules restrict hiring qualified candidates
  • Creating a state workforce that looks like the Californians we serve
  • Developing incentives and targeted recruitment strategies to attract college graduates


  • Developing training structure to improve skills and provide upward mobility
  • Engaging employees and promote work-life balance for more productive employees


  • Thorough evaluation of full compensation and salary scale compaction issues
  • Addressing executive compensation gap with local government and related retention and recruitment issues

Labor Relations

  • Need for long-term planning to align collective bargaining strategy with the Governor’s priorities

Strategic Planning

  • Addressing state need to create a long-term vision for programs and employees

Performance Management/Discipline

  • Need to develop standard and consistent management approaches to organizational performance and employee discipline


  • Streamline and review the state’s internal control policies

What We’ve Done

Conducted The First Ever Statewide Employee Engagement Survey

In 2015, GovOps launched the first ever statewide employee engagement survey in order to inform our Civil Service Improvement efforts. Learn more and see the results here.

Launched A Job Analysis Library

A job analysis library was created through the CSI initiative to give departmental exam staff access to previously completed job analyses reports.  This library is designed to do the following:

  • Help departments complete job analyses that meet the requirements identified in the Uniform Guidelines on Employment Selection Procedures.
  • Give departments more resources to internally complete job analyses.
  • Reduce the costs of job analyses for departments by sharing information from subject matter experts.
Launched The California Lean Academy

Using existing resources, GovOps developed the California Lean Academy  that provides a standard, consistent and department-transferable approach for Lean training and certification in continuous improvement methodologies including:

  • A Lean orientation session to expose state employees to process improvement methodologies (White Belt certification);
  • A one-week basic Lean training for students that want to gain a better understanding of Lean principals and tools to implement in their programs (Yellow Belt certification);
  • A menu of training offerings and pre-approved subject matter experts to guide, facilitate and build internal capacity and support for continuous improvement initiatives;
  • The development of Lean expertise within the state workforce that will measurably drive government innovation, accountability and efficiency.

To date, GovOps, CalHR, GoBiz, CalTrans, Water Resources, and CalEMA have participated in Lean training with over 600 people being certified. Check out our webpage to find out how you can participate!

Created A Human Resource Credentialing Program

The HR Credentialing Program is designed to allow journey-level human resources professionals at state departments to be recognized for mastering of specific human resource areas. CalHR, through the Civil Service Improvement (CSI) effort, is promoting a workforce culture of lifelong learning, professional recognition and personal growth. The HR Credentialing Program is a vehicle for professional growth for human resources professionals who are spread throughout state service.  Why participate in the HR Credentialing Program? It’s all about professional recognition.  Check it out here!

Created New Employee Orientation

The first days on the job as a new state employee are both exciting and overwhelming. There is a lot of important paperwork to fill out about benefits, retirement and dependent care. To help ease this process, we created a New Employees Website, designed to help new state employees navigate this landscape with more proficiency and less stress. See it for yourself here.

Eliminated Ineffective Examination Rules

Senate Bill 99 eliminated Government Code 19057, Government Code 19057.2 and Government Code 19057.4. These arcane hiring statutes restricted the number of available candidates who could be contacted for a hiring interview. Recruiting the right person for the right job the right time is at the core of our civil service improvement project. These changes align the administration’s efforts to increase job candidate pools available to hiring departments.

Made Positional Budgeting At Departments More Transparent

Pursuant to Chapter 28, Statutes of 2015 (Senate Bill 98) and Chapter 11, Statutes of 2015 (Senate Bill 97), Government Code section 12439 was abolished and Control Section 4.11 was amended to provide transparency in departments’ budgeting of positions and expenditures by category. Departmental budget displays and the Salary and Wages publication will now include a display of historically filled positions and associated funding.  The intent of this process is to provide an accurate representation of departmental operational needs.

Established A Statewide Leadership Philosophy

The state is in the process of revamping the 80 hour mandatory leadership training of Supervisors, Managers, and Executives to develop leadership competency models that enhance performance and better prepares our leaders to manage a dynamic and multi-generational workforce. To ensure that we unify our state leaders and break silos, the CSI group has developed the first statewide Leadership Philosophy:

“Our Leaders Develop and Inspire our workforce to deliver great results for all California”

Click Here to learn more about the revamped leadership training and the leadership philosophy.

Developed an Online Personnel Policy Manual

The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR), along with departmental subject matter experts, developed an accessible Online Human Resources Manual for state human resources professionals. For more information about this project, click here.

Modified Exempt Employee Reinstatement Rules

Under the amendment to Government Code section 19141, an employee who vacates a civil service position to accept an exempt appointment shall be reinstated to his or her former position if: (1) he or she accepted the appointment without a break in the continuity of state service; and (2) within 10 working days after the effective date of the termination, he or she makes a written request to the appointing power to be reinstated to his or her former position. If the employee misses the 10-working day request period, then the permissive reinstatement rules of Government Code section 19140 apply. This change simplified and clarified the law while still affording state employees reasonable incentives to accept exempt appointments.

Developed Required Training for State Leaders

Government Code Section 19995.4 was amended to bolster training for supervisors, managers and career executive assignments. The amendments include:

  • Newly appointed supervisors are now required to successfully complete 80 hours of classroom training within 6 months of initial appointment, but no later than the end of the probationary period.  The amended code also no longer states that any portion of the supervisor training can be completed through on-the-job training.
  • Individuals who are appointed to a managerial position shall be provided 40 hours of leadership training and development and the training must be completed within 12 months of the initial appointment.
  • Newly appointed Career Executive Assignment (CEA) employees are also now required to complete 20 hours of leadership training and development within 12 months of their initial appointment.
  • All supervisors, managers and CEAs are also now required to complete 20 hours of leadership training and development every two years as prescribed by CalHR.
Abolished Unused Classes

The California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Division 1, Chapter 1, Article 2, Rule 90 was modified to automatically abolish civil service classifications if continuously vacant or unused for two years. Over the past two years, the State Personnel Board and the Department of Human Resources have worked with departments and unions to abolish more than 500 vacant classifications.

Updated Statewide Workforce Planning Model

The purpose of the State of California Workforce Planning Model is to provide clear and relevant workforce planning guidance that aligns staffing and competencies with departments’ current and future strategic business needs.  The Model provides instruction for developing a comprehensive workforce plan that contains strategies addressing five main areas of workforce planning: diverse recruitment, retention, employee development, knowledge transfer and succession planning.  Expanded succession planning guidance begins in Phase 3, by utilizing the State of California Succession Planning Model. Learn more here.

Opened Career Executive Assignment Exams To Everyone

Government Code 19889.3 has been revised to eliminate the requirement that a person must have permanent status in the civil service to compete for a Career Executive Assignment examination.  Effective immediately, individuals who meet the minimum qualifications of a CEA exam may apply to take it.

From the Little Hoover Commission to the Legislative Analyst’s Office to the California Performance Review, it has be recognized that the state must foster a culture of high performance in its executive management ranks.  Attracting private sector talent and the complementary skills it can bring into the CEA classification is an important step in this direction.

Streamlined The Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP)

The state is committed to equality in employment for persons with disabilities.  To that end, the state amended Government Code 19243 to streamline the LEAP examination process by eliminating the probationary period for LEAP classifications.  Additionally, the state merged the LEAP and non-LEAP lists to enable hiring departments to select the best candidates for the job regardless of disability status.

  1. CalHR Conference Presentations, including
    • ECOS – The Future of Hiring
    • Employee Engagement: California’s First Statewide Survey
    • Employee Rotation Programs: Why They Work
    • How to Develop a Successful Mentoring Program
    • Shifting the Paradigm: The Role of Millennials in Changing Organizational Culture and New Concepts of Diversity
    • Statewide Leadership Model & 80-Hour Supervisory Training Refresh
  2. “Connecting the Talent Dots” article