DHS should act to improve employee morale

Some agencies get poor reviews in employee engagement surveys—and the sprawling Department of Homeland Security, sadly, is a perennial member the low morale club.

Recent events in a presidential transition marred by violence in Washington, D.C.— along with concomitant added burdens placed on DHS—likely have not helped improve matters. But a new Government Accountability Office study reports on the issue of low DHS morale, identifies problems and offers a handful of recommendations to improve matters.

“The Department of Homeland Security has had low employee morale and low employee engagement—an employee's sense of purpose and commitment—since it began operations in 2003,” the report’s summary states, noting the long-term trend. “Greater employee engagement results in better performance, studies show.”

The GAO report discusses DHS’s department-wide engagement initiatives—various efforts on the part of key units of the behemoth, including the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Yet, to date, many of these efforts are lacking outcome-based performance measures. The GAO document, entitled simply DHS Employee Morale, offers a number of ways these could be improved.

“DHS has made some progress in this area, but data from the 2019 OPM FEVS show that DHS continues to rank lowest among similarly-sized federal agencies,” the report states.


Reader comments

Mon, Feb 1, 2021

HUD is very bad, including ONAP. Need to clean house on management. They have risen to these positions through connections, and are way out of their depth. One manager (Administrator) spends her days finding typos, belittling employees, condescending to employees with twice her experience and capacity. Her job could be cut and we wouldn’t miss a beat. These are useless jobs and a waste of money and decrease efficiency. Ms. Fudge please address this, the morale is awful.

Sat, Jan 30, 2021

HUD is just as bad! God forbid you’re a disabled female Veteran. They’ll deny you’re reasonable accommodation then limit all chances for advancement. If you date utilize you’re Union, you’re black listed forever.

Tue, Jan 26, 2021

The constant micro management, no opportunity to advance or get meaningful certifications, the nepotism, the favoritism and the corruption have all taken its toll here at CBP. It is so instilled in culture and normalcy, things will NEVER Change. Seeing the same people you arrest over and over and over does not help either. Its just a revolving door until no one catches them.

Mon, Jan 25, 2021

They think they ranked low in 2019, wait until they get the results of the 2020 survey. As one other person wrote, more production is required in the middle if a pandemic. TSA inspectors are expected to get 1230 hours documented in PARIS just to get meets standard in one area of their performance appraisal. Evidently the higher ups at HQ who are teleworking 5 days a week, think this can easily be accomplished.

Mon, Jan 25, 2021

You should be working for USDA ARS.... Scientists with little/limited leadership skills attempting to run an organization. Non-competitive promotions, no accountability, etc.

Show All Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above.

2021 Digital Almanac

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question