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    UnlockTalent.gov

    The picture says Unlock Talent Connect with a picture of a lock and the words OPM.gov and UnlockTalent.gov


    The UnlockTalent team at OPM is pleased to announce new updates to UnlockTalent.gov. We have revamped the Community of Practice page and have renamed it to UnlockTalent Connect. We designed UnlockTalent Connect to help facilitate collaboration and information sharing across Federal agencies.

    Unlock Talent Connect highlights a perfect example of how OPM is developing a 21st century modernized workforce. By sharing governmentwide data, we hope that UnlockTalent Connect will serve as a useful platform allowing employees to form connections that help to address critical challenges in the Federal Government.

    The UnlockTalent Connect page functions as a shared hub of communal resources and contains case studies, videos, training, research, and best practices. All registered users of UnlockTalent can view this page after logging into the site.

    Updates to the page include:

    • Revamped Design
      • Organized into five sections consistent with the new Human Capital Framework (HCF): workforce demographics, talent management, performance management, strategic planning and alignment, and evaluation, it has been redesigned to allow for better navigation between topic areas.
    • Updated What’s New Section
      • Includes links to upcoming trainings, conferences, announcements and other opportunities. This section will be updated on an ongoing basis.
    • Content from both government agencies and private sector sources
      • Contributors are encouraged to submit best practices, research and other resources that would be of benefit to the Federal workforce.

    We believe that people are the Federal Government’s most important resource, and we encourage Federal employees like you to become a part of the UnlockTalent community. You can do that by logging into UnlockTalent.gov right now to check out the new page and updates! Here are just a few things you can do on the new UnlockTalent Connect Page:

    • Submit your upcoming conference, webinar or training to the “what’s new” section
    • Check out some of the latest trends in addressing employee engagement in the Federal Government
    • Read research from both Federal and private sector sources

    If you do not have an UnlockTalent.gov account, you can self-register using your valid government email address.

    UnlockTalent Connect is actively seeking content. To submit research, trainings, and/or announcement for inclusion on UnlockTalent Connect, or if you have any questions, please email UnlockTalent@opm.gov.

     


    On the left side of the image a group of cartoon people from the shoulders up are in a group with three arrows of different sizes circling them. On the right is a blue box with white text that reads Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey: Empowering Employees. Inspiring Change. OPM.gov logo in the right hand corner.

    From May 2 until June 22, 2017, just over a million employees across the Federal government will have the chance to participate in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).  If you received a survey this year, I invite you to participate.  While you may find it hard to set aside time in your busy day, or even wonder about the value of participating, let me assure you -- your response is valued!  The FEVS is an employee survey, which means it is your survey.  Results from the survey support the work of government by giving you a voice in ongoing Federal workplace improvements. The survey is sent to a sample of employees and your input helps your leadership know more about the employee experience.

    All levels of leadership across government are able to use FEVS results to inform decisions for agency development. Results provide a snapshot of employees’ perceptions of whether, and to what extent, conditions characterizing successful organizations are present in their agencies. This is your opportunity to help shape and improve Federal workplaces. OPM shares results from the FEVS through a series of reports and tools to help agency leadership identify challenges and opportunities for Federal workplace development.  You too can see results from the FEVS.  A few weeks after the survey closes, we send a summary of responses to each FEVS item to your agency, and those are required to be posted to your agency intranet within 120 days. You can also find FEVS Government-wide results on our website.  FEVS results are also available with other HR data on our UnlockTalent dashboard; log in to see your agency’s 2016 results.

    While your perspective is shared, it is confidential: your identity and any information that would permit personal identification will be withheld when survey results are shared with your employer or in publicly released reports regarding the survey.  . 

    The FEVS supports information-sharing between employees and management as they come together to serve the American people.  So remember, if you receive a Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey please take the time to respond.  Your response to the survey is important and counts toward the successful functioning of your agency and the Federal government.  


    Text rich graphic with a hand maneuvering a computer mouse, with text that reads: Unlocking Federal Talent  UnlockTalent.gov is a comprehensive data visualization dashboard created by the US Office of Personnel Management to help Government leaders make data driven decisions and design initiatives to increase employee engagement and satisfaction. Employee engagement is the employee's sense of purpose that is evident in their display of dedication, persistence, and effort in their work or overall attachment to their organization and its mission.

    The People and Culture pillar of the President’s Management Agenda emphasizes the need to develop and sustain an engaged, innovative, and productive Federal workforce. Strengthening employee engagement was also the subject of a joint White House-Office of Personnel Management memorandum.

    “We believe that employee engagement is a leading indicator of performance and should be a focus for all levels of an agency - from the front line employee to the agency head. Employee engagement is not only a Human Resources function, but a cross-cutting leadership effort that is directly tied to mission success,” the December 23, 2014, memorandum states.

    To further this goal, we are sharing a white paper on employee engagement entitled, “Engaging the Federal Workforce: How to Do It & Prove It.” To access the paper, login to www.unlocktalent.gov and go to the Community of Practice page.

    The paper summarizes OPM’s review of classic and recent employee engagement research, including definitions, models, measurement practices, and interventions. The paper then presents a definition of employee engagement as it specifically relates to the Federal workforce:

    “Employee engagement is the employee's sense of purpose that is evident in their display of dedication, persistence, and effort in their work or overall attachment to their organization and its mission,” the paper states.

    Of particular interest for Federal agencies is that the white paper examines the key drivers influencing Federal employee engagement. The research spotlights the important role that performance feedback, collaborative management, support for merit system principles, training and development opportunities, and work-life balance can have in developing a workforce that is more innovative, productive, committed, satisfied, and more likely to remain at their job.

    While in 2015 the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey’s Employee Engagement index increased for the first time in three years, there are still substantial opportunities to improve this important workplace indicator. In releasing this white paper, we hope that OPM’s new Federal definition and model will serve as a foundation for capturing and sharing best practices to drive and sustain future employee engagement efforts.


    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.


    OPM soon will be releasing the government-wide results of the 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), and I am happy to report that we are seeing some positive trends in the numbers this year, although we still have more work to do. Participation in the survey was up – the response rate was 50 percent, up from 47 percent in 2014 – and employee engagement index scores improved at most agencies. The Administration’s focus on engagement is having an impact, and I’m looking forward to sharing the results in more detail soon. In the meantime, I’d like to talk about why employee engagement is so important, and to share a success story from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    Employee engagement drives performance and is closely tied to mission success in the Federal Government. An agency that engages its employees ensures a work environment where each employee can reach his or her potential, which in turn has a strong impact on the agency’s ability to achieve its mission goals. Individual agency performance contributes to success for the entire Federal Government, which means better service for the American people.

    Engagement occurs in every office between employees and their supervisors and should be a focus at all levels of an agency, from front-line employees to the leadership. The People and Culture plank of the President’s Management Agenda was created, in part, to shine a light on engagement and to support agencies’ efforts to strengthen an organizational culture of employee engagement and mission performance.

    This past year, each agency was asked to appoint a senior accountable official responsible for improving employee engagement. Agencies then worked closely with OPM’s FEVS team to analyze and interpret their reports. Each agency received detailed, customized reports with data broken down by department, program, and office, with the goal of enabling agencies to examine internal engagement at the “local level”.

    The experience of HUD shows just how powerful a tool the FEVS can be. This past year, HUD increased its engagement score by 5 percentage points. It also increased its global satisfaction score by 6 percentage points. This impressive growth came about as a result of the agency’s commitment to increasing internal engagement.

    In sharing their story with OPM, HUD officials credited several efforts with making the difference. They created new collaboration tools, and repurposed some existing ones, for employees to share ideas with their leaders. One such tool is HUDConnect, an internal social media platform that gives employees the opportunity to reach out to leaders and each other. They can recommend process improvements or new technologies. The agency also implemented regular emails to the workforce and quarterly town hall meetings as ways to open lines of communication.

    Every employee was provided the FEVS scores for the agency as well as analyses of the data. HUD encouraged senior leaders to use www.unlocktalent.gov – a dashboard OPM created last year that puts each agency’s survey data into visual formats and helps leaders to better understand what the numbers mean.

    Importantly, at HUD, change came from the top. Secretary Julián Castro made engaging employees a priority – and he made sure employees knew their feedback would be taken seriously. He and Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti challenged the department to increase participation in the survey from 51 percent to 75 percent, and it ultimately achieved a 74 percent response rate. Coloretti placed a strong emphasis on responding to employees’ requests through internal tools like HUDConnect and Switchboard, two ways to directly solicit employee feedback. She conducted deep-dive conversations with program offices to create a set of initiatives to build a stronger HUD. These initiatives were shared with employees agency-wide and voted on; from this feedback, there are several projects happening now that are expected to improve HUD’s processes and systems and to strengthen its staff.

    These strategies are backed up by our experience with Federal agencies collectively.  Leadership involvement, improving internal communications, and enabling employees to have more input into how their organization functions are proven approaches to boosting employee engagement and performance.

    I congratulate everyone at HUD for their commitment to employee engagement, for maximizing the value of FEVS as a tool to drive change, and for embracing evidence-based strategies in order to achieve progress. Well done.

    There are many other agency success stories in this year’s FEVS results, and I look forward to sharing more of them soon on the OPM blog.

    2015 FEVS   This is the first 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 introduces the metaphor of a classic wrench.   Title:  Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey HUD shows how powerful a tool the FEVS can be.   TABLE 2014 and 2015 FEVS scores for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for three indices: Response Rate, Global Satisfaction, and Engagement Index.   HUD's FEVS Response Rate in 2014 was 51% compared to 74% in 2015.  HUD's FEVS Global Satisfaction score in 2014 was 51% compared to 57% in 2015.  HUD's FEVS Engagement Index score in 2014 was 57% compared to 62% in 2015.    Bottom half of infographic is a visual of interconnected gears titled


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