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News Release

Thursday, January 08, 2009
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Releases 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey

Federal employees say their work is important and they are held accountable for results

Washington, D.C. -- Federal employees across America say the work they do is important and their bosses hold their feet to the fire for achieving results, according to a large majority of government workers who participated in a survey administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The Federal Human Capital Survey (FHCS), released today, gauges the attitudes and impressions of employees in four areas related to their overall work experience. The survey is conducted every two years and was born of the Bush Administration's commitment to improve the management of federal employees and delivery of agency services. The first survey was administered in 2002.

"President George W. Bush, at the beginning of his Administration, made it a priority to improve the strategic management of people within the federal government," said OPM Acting Director Michael W. Hager. "Overall, the Federal Human Capital Survey continues to demonstrate federal employees are motivated and committed to the roles they play and the missions they accomplish."

The survey found that 91 percent of respondents say the work they do is important (up 1 percent from 2006) and 84 percent like what they do in the workplace (up 1 percent). In addition, 82 percent believe they are held accountable for achieving results (up 3 percent).

More than 210,000 federal employees - from a survey sample of more than 417,000 employees - responded.

This year's survey also provides a direct comparison of findings for 2008 with findings from previous surveys, where applicable. The findings are grouped into four categories:

Leadership and Knowledge Management; Results-Oriented Performance Culture; Talent Management; and, Job Satisfaction.

Survey takers were not reluctant to express concerns or indicate changes they would like to see. "Although progress has been achieved and sustained in many areas, the survey tells us improvement is needed in others," said Hager. For example, only 26 percent of employees see a link between pay and performance, while 30 percent say steps have been taken against co-workers who cannot or will not improve their performance.

Survey findings also may shed light on agency operations in ways that will assist in the recruitment and retention of high-quality individuals.

Governmentwide survey findings are available to the public at Agency-specific findings are available to managers and human resources officials designated by their agency.

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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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