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News Release

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-606-2402

2006 Federal Human Capital Survey Shows Strengths, Weaknesses within Federal Workplace

Washington, DC - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Linda M. Springer today announced the results of the latest Federal Human Capital Survey, a massive biannual study of the Federal workforce which OPM conducts to gauge employee perceptions as well as the management challenges the Federal Government faces.

"The good news is that in many areas, the improvements made over the past four years in the Federal Government have been sustained or solidified," said Springer, noting the 2006 Survey is the third such exercise conducted since 2002. "The challenge is we continue to find areas -especially with respect to how good or poor performance is treated- where a lack of substantial improvement remains a concern."

More than 221,000 employees responded to the 84-question, self-administered Web-based Survey, which asked for employees' views on such questions as talent capacity, performance culture and leadership quality within the Federal work environment. The response rate of 57% was the Survey's highest ever.

Among the findings, Springer noted the capacity and commitment of Federal employees for their work remains high:

▪ 90% believe their work is important

▪ 83% know how their work relates to agency goals and priorities

▪ 83% say their co-workers cooperate to get the job done

▪ 79% say they are held accountable for achieving results

At the same time, Springer noted the Survey shows many Federal employees still do not believe high performance is properly recognized, nor are steps taken to deal with poor performers:

▪ 49% are satisfied with recognition for doing a good job

▪ 39% say creativity and innovation are rewarded

▪ 30% believe performance differences are recognized in a meaningful way

▪ 22% see a link between performance and pay raises

▪ 29% believe steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve

On the positive side, Springer noted Federal employees are very satisfied with their benefits. "88% are satisfied with their paid vacation," she pointed out. "86% express satisfaction with paid leave for illness, including family care, and 78% say they receive support to balance work and family," she added. The OPM Director indicated 61% of respondents said they're also satisfied with their retirement benefits.

In view of the retirement wave facing the Federal Government, Springer also noted the Survey yielded several results which point to a high degree of satisfaction and intent to stay on board:

▪ 83% say they like the kind of work they do

▪ 73% say their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment

▪ 66% say their supervisor/team leader is doing a good job

▪ 62% say they have real opportunity to improve their skills in their organization

▪ 62% say their talents are used well in the workplace

The OPM Director called upon leaders throughout the Federal Government to "pay attention to these indicators of engagement and commitment to continued service." She announced that on January 30, OPM will release the agency-by-agency results of the Survey.

Springer said the Survey's results will help OPM and the agencies work together to identify needed program or policy changes. "The follow-up work that needs to be done fits hand-in-glove with the President's Management Agenda, which is precisely about promoting a culture of achievement throughout the Federal Government," Springer said.

For the complete set of Governmentwide Survey results, go to

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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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