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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced the 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results. In this year’s survey, 376,577 federal employees provided their candid opinions on all aspects of their employment – their work experiences, their supervisors, and their agency. There were twenty-nine items identified as strengths, and from 2012 to 2013, the highest increasing trend involved the commitment and respect of supervisors to their employees.
“The results of this year’s survey serve to strengthen belief in the federal workforce. The results show employees are ready and willing to meet the challenges they face and are steadfastly accountable for achieving results and knowing what is expected of them on the job,” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. “While the results are concerning, it is when times are the most difficult that we are able to rise to the occasion and tackle these pressing issues to find the most collaborative and creative solutions. Amidst uncertain times, agency managers can use the 2013 FEVS results as an important management tool to learn from their employees and improve satisfaction and engagement through shared best practices across and between agency partners.”
The 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results present two very clear conclusions.
First, the Federal workforce remains resilient in the face of historic challenges. Over 90 percent continue to be willing to put in extra effort, are constantly looking for ways to do their job better, and feel their work is important. Their levels of engagement are generally holding steady despite declining satisfaction.
Second, despite the tremendous strengths and dedication shown by Federal employees, the 2013 responses demonstrate a significant drop in employee satisfaction and continue last year’s declines across the majority of questions, which are cause for concern. In addition to continued decreases in satisfaction with pay, this year, one of the biggest drops was whether employees had sufficient resources needed to get their job done. This drop contributed to fewer employees recommending their organization as a good place to work. Any employer seeing this meaningful level of decline would be very concerned.
Factors such as an unprecedented three-year pay freeze, automatic reductions from sequester which included furloughs for hundreds of thousands of employees, and reductions in training and other areas are clearly taking their toll on the Federal workforce – and this survey was administered prior to the recent government shutdown. This serves as an important warning about the long-term consequences of the sequestration and budget uncertainty. Without a more predictable and responsible budget situation, we risk losing our most talented employees as well as hurting our ability to recruit top talent for the future.
Finally, in addition, to providing information on broad trends, the FEVS is also an important management tool that allows leaders and managers to receive feedback from their employees and take actions to increase satisfaction and engagement, and ultimately improve the services to the American public. This year, agencies will receive even more granular survey results at manager levels that will allow them to identify successes as well as challenges and to take specific actions.
To view a copy of the governmentwide report, please visit http://www.fedview.opm.gov.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.