Fed survey: Morale drops 2nd year in a row
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Dec 18, 2019
The just-released annual federal Best Places to Work report shows a worrying trend: a drop among feds in their enthusiasm for the federal workplace for the second year in a row.
This year, the average employee’s rating of their agency dropped by 0.5 points, on a scale of 100, compared with 2018. The shift was minor, but combined with last year’s results, the troubling trendline is clear.
The report—based on Office of Personnel Management employee survey data analyzed by the Partnership for Public Service with partner organization BCG— explores survey results gleaned from thousands of employees across a wide range of federal workplaces.
It offers comparative scores of various aspects of each workplace—hence, identifying the “best” and “worst” agencies according to employee assessments—as well as a numerical score for each employee’s sense of engagement—numbers that are then averaged and used by management and government-watchers as an approximate measure of morale.
Among the largest agencies—starting with the top score—NASA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the combined intelligence community agencies were ranked highest in engagement. In declining order of engagement score, the Social Security Administration, Department of the Air Force, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Homeland Security were judged by employees dead last.
This year’s document, according to the partnership, included data collected from over “490 federal agencies and subcomponents,” producing the widest-ranging coverage in the ranking report’s 14-year history.
“Our country is blessed with an extraordinary and highly resilient government workforce,” Max Stier, PPS’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “This year’s engagement dropped [only] modestly despite a tumultuous time for our nation’s public servants—a time when about 800,000 of the 2 million federal employees were affected by a lengthy government shutdown, when there were a number of critical leadership vacancies across the government, and as many agencies had to deal with a variety of political headwinds.”
PPS also pointed out that in eight out of 10 categories of employee assessment, small improvements actually occurred—a remarkable result to the study’s authors, in the face of so many problems and political “headwinds.”
PPS further analyzed the highlights of the survey in a brief blog post.