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employee satisfaction

OPM today released the complete Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results for 2015. The report contains the scores for the three major indices – employee engagement, overall job satisfaction, and workplace inclusion – plus lots of supporting detail from the survey and the trend lines for individual agencies over the past few years.

The report provides a first look at this year’s scores for the New IQ, which is a measure of employees’ sense of inclusion in their workplaces – meaning how fair, open, cooperative, supportive, and empowering they perceive their workplaces to be. The New IQ score rose by 1 percent government-wide to 57 percent. That small but statistically meaningful increase is important because we know that employees who feel a strong sense of inclusion are better performers on the job and contribute more of their talents to the vital public service missions of their agencies.

The New IQ increase also tracks the improvement we saw in the employee engagement and global job satisfaction indices in two earlier releases of the FEVS results in recent weeks. Both engagement and global satisfaction rose by 1 percentage point over 2014, to 64 percent and 60 percent, respectively. The Administration has made improving the government’s workplace culture a priority, and the trend lines reflect that.

When I dove into the full report, I was especially gratified by the progress made by individual agencies. Agency leaders and managers really can make a difference when they use OPM’s data to make meaningful changes that improve work environments. For example, since last year, 30 of the 37 large departments and agencies made gains in their scores measuring global job satisfaction, which includes how satisfied employees are with their jobs, their pay, and their organizations. (OPM recently highlighted the success of one large agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in boosting its scores.)

It’s clear that some agencies truly excelled in their internal efforts. One small agency, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, made double-digit gains in all three indices. Its engagement score went up by 14 percentage points, its global job satisfaction score by 17 points, and its workplace inclusion index by 12 points.

We asked our colleagues at the board how they did it. They credit better communication, employee recognition programs and greater focus on relationships with senior leaders. Agency managers increased the regularity of staff and all-agency meetings, ensuring that employees got relevant information faster. They also created many opportunities for employees to get together to discuss topics of interest, ranging from pay and performance to dress code guidelines. These events are good opportunities to not only collect valuable employee feedback, but to foster collegiality and closer working relationships. The reaction from employees to these initiatives was overwhelmingly positive and the agency plans to expand the programs.

Finally, I am encouraged by the government-wide results that demonstrate how important our work-life programs are to employees. In 2015, satisfaction with telework increased to 78 percent, up 1 percent from last year. The growth of telework across government continues, and I encourage every agency to consider it as a vital workforce tool. Employees are also just as, if not more, satisfied than last year with their employee assistance programs, alternative work schedules, and health and wellness programs.

All of this is not to say our work is done.  There are several areas where agencies continue to focus on making improvements. For example, scores for senior leaders have rebounded somewhat (up 1 percentage point) but still have a ways to go. And employees in a mission critical occupation – IT specialists – post more negative responses on questions related to recruitment, retention and development than employees in other occupations.

Agencies now have senior accountable officials who have been tasked with increasing employee engagement by customizing programs to an agency’s needs and by working closely with the leadership. I know that this, coupled with the focused efforts of leaders and managers throughout government, will help us keep our momentum going.

I want to send a special thanks to every employee who gave feedback in this year’s survey. Their willingness to share their thoughts and concerns is the starting point for change and for an evolution that keeps us moving in the right direction. Federal employees and the public can now explore the 2015 FEVS on their own with OPM’s terrific digital resource, UnlockTalent.gov.

This is the third in a series of infographics highlighting results from the 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).   The infographic positions the FEVS as a powerful tool for agencies and continues the metaphor of a classic wrench.   Title:  Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, 2015 FEVS  Top section features UnlockTalent.gov, the new online visualization tool for exploring FEVS data, with the following features and capabilities:  •	Now accessible to all Federal employees and the public •	Explore engagement and global satisfaction scores •	See trends from 2010 to 2015  The primary visual is a combination padlock. Supporting visuals are small examples of chart and graph styles.   Middle section: Positive Trends in 2015 Decorative graphic composed of simplified, stylized versions of data visuals such as pie charts, line and bar graphs. This area also contains government-wide data points from the 2015 results:  •	The Response Rate increased to 50% •	75% of responses more positive than last year •	Gov-wide Engagement increased to 64% •	Global Satisfaction increased to 60% •	Gov-wide New IQ, Inclusion Quotient, increased to 57%  Bottom section is a visual of interconnected gears titled  


The results of the 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) are in and they show that employees across the Federal Government are more engaged in their workplaces and more satisfied with their jobs than they were a year ago. While there is still plenty of room for improvement, there are signs that the Administration’s focus on employee engagement is beginning to pay dividends for the workforce, and ultimately for our customers, the American people.

I’d like to share some highlights of the government-wide results as well as share an important update on how you can access some of the data. The employee engagement and global satisfaction results of this year’s FEVS can now be viewed by the public in visual formats on UnlockTalent.gov, OPM’s innovative digital dashboard. This tool, which allows customized views of the data, was previously available only to the leadership of Federal agencies.

One highlight in the government-wide results that is especially meaningful for me and other leaders this year is a 1 percent increase in the employee engagement index score, to 64 percent from 63 percent in 2014. Although the change may appear to be small, it is in fact statistically significant, and many individual agencies experienced larger gains.

The FEVS provides a powerful way for agency leaders to evaluate their engagement programs and office cultures. As leaders, we know that employee engagement drives performance and is closely tied to mission success in the Federal Government, which translates into better customer service for the American people.

Agency leaders have actively responded to feedback from prior years’ surveys and those efforts are reflected in the results. Compared with 2014, more employees in 2015 perceive their agency conditions as conducive to employee engagement, which is defined as an employee’s sense of purpose, manifest in the level of dedication, persistence, and effort that he or she puts into the work and into the overall commitment to an agency and its mission.

Internal engagement efforts are more likely to be successful when employee feedback is used to make workplace changes. That’s why these results are crucial. Agencies that experienced increases in employee engagement of 3 percentage points or more also saw an increase in employees’ confidence that the survey would be used to make the agency a better place to work.

Another important index also increased by 1 percent government-wide: The global satisfaction score in 2015 was 60 percent, up from 59 percent in 2014. That score tells us that employees are more satisfied with their jobs, their pay, and their organizations and that they are more likely to recommend their agency to others.

This year, 50 percent of the employees who were surveyed responded, for a total of 421,748 responses from 82 agencies. The response rate was 3 percentage points higher than last year’s 47 percent.  Overall, 75 percent of responses to the individual survey questions were more positive than they were last year.

And the results underscore the dedication of Federal employees. The survey found that 90 percent or more of employees view their work as important, are willing to commit extra effort when necessary to get their jobs done, and consistently seek out ways to do their jobs better.

Other trends remained strong in 2015: By and large, employees expressed that they  enjoy good relationships with their supervisors and are satisfied with telework and alternative work schedules. Areas where the results show we need improvement are: Adequately dealing with poor performers and recognizing differences in performance levels within work units.

Employees’ ratings of senior agency leaders, which declined by 3 percentage points in the 2014 survey, rebounded somewhat in 2015 with a 1 percentage point increase. But it’s clear that we need to continue our focus on engagement and building confidence in our senior leadership.

This is the second in a series of infographics highlighting results from the 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).   The infographic positions the FEVS as a powerful tool for agencies and continues the metaphor of a classic wrench.   Title:  First Glance at Results 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey  Top Left Quadrant:  Decorative graphic composed of simplified, stylized versions of data visuals such as pie charts, line and bar graphs. This area also contains two government-wide data points from the 2015 results:  •	The Response Rate increased to 50% •	75% of responses more positive than last year  Top Right Quadrant: Two government-wide data points from the 2015 results:  •	Gov-wide Engagement increased to 64% •	Global Satisfaction increased to 60%  Bottom half of infographic introduces UnlockTalent.gov, the new online visualization tool for exploring FEVS data, with the following features and capabilities:  •	Now accessible to all Federal employees and the public •	Explore engagement and global satisfaction scores •	Review trends from 2010-2015  The primary visual in the bottom half is a combination padlock. Supporting visuals are small examples of chart and graph styles.   The bottom of the page contains the main URL and hashtag:   OPM.GOV/FEVS #FEVS 

As of today, everyone can access the employee engagement and global satisfaction data with our visualization tool, UnlockTalent.gov, which tells the story with graphs, charts, and other visual means. It is a very helpful way to analyze the results agency by agency.

Here are five things you’ll want to know to get started:

Clicking on UnlockTalent.gov will take you directly to the data, no sign-in required.

  • Explore government-wide data, specifically response rates, employee engagement index, and global satisfaction scores.
  • Explore, by agency, the employee engagement index (including the supporting subfactors that create the index -- Leaders Lead, Supervisors, and Intrinsic Work Experience) and global satisfaction index scores.
  • See how agencies compare in these areas in 2015 as well as review their trends from 2010 to 2015.
  • Download the data into a spreadsheet.

This tool has been an invaluable resource for leaders throughout the government, and I am pleased that it is now available for all to use. Every employee is a part of the change and we want to keep the momentum going. If we continue to work together, the progress will show in future surveys.

Note to our readers: OPM will release the full 2015 FEVS government-wide report soon.


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