Survey: Feds are happy at work despite tough times

G. Brian Karas/Getty Images
Federal employees are committed to their work and mostly satisfied with their jobs despite the difficult political and fiscal environment, according to a new study.

The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday released the results of the 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which drew a record 266,000 responses. Nearly 92 percent of respondents said they believe the work they do is important, and 85 percent reported enjoying their jobs. OPM distributed the survey this past spring, at a time when the government was hamstrung by a potential shutdown and the looming debt ceiling crisis.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they would recommend their agency as a good place to work and 48 percent reported having sufficient resources to perform their jobs.

See OPM's rankings of agencies based on the survey results

Federal workers were less thrilled, however, about their pay in 2011 than they were in 2010. On pay satisfaction, 62.5 percent of the responses to the survey were positive, down from 65.8 percent in 2010. "There was a decrease in items related to pay, and that's to be expected," said John Foley, director of planning and policy analysis at OPM, referring to the two-year federal pay freeze in place. "Gratifying to us is that we didn't see a drop-off in people's commitment to work."

Employees' views on performance management within their agencies remained fairly negative. Forty-seven percent of respondents do not believe pay raises are adequately linked to performance, and only 36 percent said promotions in their workplace were merit-based. Forty-one percent of respondents said their offices do not deal adequately with poor performers.

"Performance management continues to persist as a problem area across government," OPM Director John Berry said in the introduction to the report. Foley said each agency needs to look at ways to improve performance management.

Overall, respondents were happy with their supervisors in a range of areas. Sixty-nine percent of surveyed feds said their managers did a good job overall; 77 percent gave high marks to supervisors for encouraging work-life balance; and 67 percent said managers promote employee development.

The survey results indicated that telework still has not taken off in the federal government despite the Obama administration's support for the practice. Just 21 percent of respondents reported teleworking, and 26 percent said they do not telework because they haven't been approved for it, even though their job could be performed off-site.

Using the data from the survey, OPM ranked agencies in a number of areas: leadership and knowledge management; results-oriented performance culture; talent management; and job satisfaction. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission earned the top spot in all four areas. Respondents also ranked NASA highly in all categories.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.