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OPM uses employee survey results to gather information about employee perceptions and identify ways to drive agency performance and improve employee satisfaction. Results are analyzed to identify areas of strength and concern and then communicated Agency-wide so that managers and employees can partner together to create positive change in the organization by capitalizing on our successes and strengthening our weaknesses. Annually, corporate and divisional action plans are developed to identify specific areas of concern and remedies to maintain high levels of employee satisfaction and engagement.
The 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results have been reviewed and analyzed to gauge employee perceptions on how well the Agency is meeting its goal of strengthening, developing and rewarding its employees. The response rate decreased slightly from 62.2% of employees responding in 2012 to 58.0% responding in 2013. However, the survey results continued to reflect increases in positive response rates. Compared with our own results from 2012, 69% of the questions had more positive responses. Most increases were small, but they show that the agency is building upon past improvements in critical areas. This year, the agency placed 5th out of 37 agencies on the Global Satisfaction Index, an indicator of employees’ overall workplace satisfaction, three places higher than in 2012.
The survey items with the greatest increase in positive responses over the previous year reflect the effort that the Agency has put into two focus areas: the Agency’s performance culture and work/life balance. OPM, through its pilot of the Goals-Engagement-Accountability-Results (GEAR) initiative, has implemented a quarterly employee progress review system to ensure employees receive timely and meaningful feedback from their supervisors. In addition, all supervisors have been trained on the use of communication techniques and approaches, including how to have meaningful conversations about performance expectations and results. Additionally, all supervisors are held accountable for setting performance expectations and engaging with staff to achieve results, and new hiring processes are in place to assess and select supervisors with the competencies to effectively manage their staff. As a result of this initiative, OPM improved from 7th to 5th place in the Results-Oriented Performance Culture index ranking out of 37 agencies. Employees report that they have discussed performance with their supervisor within the last six months (91.85%) and that they are being held accountable for achieving results (89.99%). More employees feel that their supervisor is doing a “Very Good” or “Good” job (78.23%) compared to 2012.
Over the past few years, OPM has greatly expanded its work/life and wellness program. To encourage employees to manage their and their families’ health and well-being, OPM has offered a variety of opportunities like exercise classes, farmers’ markets, support networks and seminars. Supervisors broadly support these programs, encourage their employees’ attendance and help their employees utilize other policies like telework, alternate work schedules and leave which support work/life balance. Positive responses to the item “My supervisor supports my need to balance work and other life issues” improved by 2.4% over last year’s results and stands at 84.91%. Compared to last year’s results, more employees are satisfied with telework (86.18%), and alternate work schedules (96.6%). More employees have been deemed eligible to telework (87.27%) and more employees are taking advantage of this flexibility on at least an occasional basis (77.12%). Both employees and senior leaders recognize and appreciate the impact these programs can have on both employee well-being and organizational success.
The survey was conducted online from April 30, 2013, through June 14, 2013.
All full-time and part-time permanent OPM employees were surveyed.
Sample or Census: Census Number of surveys completed: 2,929 Number of survery administered: 5,052 Response Rate: 58.0%
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