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News Release

Thursday, May 19, 2005
Contact: Eldon Girdner
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Acting Director Blair Releases 2004 Federal Human Capital Survey Data

Commitment to Public Service Remains Strong but System Lacks Link between Performance and Pay

Washington, D.C. - Dan Blair, Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, today, released the results of the comprehensive 2004 Federal Human Capital Survey which OPM conducted to gauge the perceptions of Federal employees on issues related to the civilian workforce.

Commenting on the survey Blair stated, "We are proud to report that our employees' commitment to the mission of Working for America is as strong as ever. Ninety one percent of Federal employees believe the work they do is important. This proves our employees are dedicated to providing the services this nation wants and deserves.

Nearly 150,000 employees responded to the 88-question survey that asked for employees' views on leadership quality, performance culture, and talent capacity within the Federal workforce. There was a 54 percent response rate to the survey.

This is the second Federal Human Capital Survey OPM has conducted on the workforce. Along with the data from the 2002 survey, this is a tool OPM can use to monitor human capital management results, focus on key human capital management systems, and develop common metrics. The information will be provided to individual agencies and support agency-specific analysis and application of results.

Blair said, "There is a strong perception that excellent performance is not properly recognized and that action is not taken against poor performers. And employees answering the survey said Federal agencies have more work to do to increase employees' confidence in the leadership they receive."

The survey demonstrates that Federal employees continue to be committed to working for America.

• Ninety-one percent of Federal employees believe they do important work.

• Seventy-one percent get a sense of personal accomplishment from their work.

• Seventy-one percent of employees said they are not considering leaving their organization within the next year.

• Sixty-four percent of Federal workers would recommend their organization as a good place to work, an increase of 4 percentage points from 2002.

Federal employees do not believe high performance is properly recognized nor are steps taken to deal with poor performers.

• Only about one-fourth of employees say steps are taken to deal with poor

• Forty-three percent believe high performing employees are recognized or rewarded on a timely basis.

• Although nearly 80 percent of employees say they are held accountable for results, less than a third of Federal employees see differences in performance being recognized in a meaningful way.

• Only 42 percent say awards depend on how well employees perform their jobs.

Tracking consistently with the results of the 2002 Federal Human Capital Survey and other survey data, Federal employees believe that the Federal government offers a good benefits package.

• Almost 90 percent of employees are satisfied with paid vacation time and sick leave.

• A clear majority of employees are satisfied with health benefits and life insurance programs; satisfaction with both increased 6 percentage points since 2002.

• About half of employees are satisfied with their alternative work schedules.

• About one-third of employees are satisfied with long term care insurance, which is a relatively new benefits program and showed the largest improvement (12 percentage points) of any survey question since 2002.

The Federal Human Capital Survey can be found at the OPM web site at
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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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