Money isn’t the top motivator for feds

Photodisc

Federal managers can improve employee engagement and motivation with non-monetary tactics such as offering workers more independence and a diversity of responsibilities, according to a new study.

The Merit Systems Protection Board, an independent, quasi-judicial agency that serves to protect federal employees, found in its survey of more than 42,000 federal employees that a majority of respondents feel motivated at work, but in times of potential benefit cuts and continued pay freezes, supervisors must find new ways to engage employees.

Seventy-one percent of federal employees feel “highly motivated” at work, according to the survey, but there is significant room for growth. Employees mentioned factors such as personal satisfaction, interesting work and ability to serve the public ahead of “awards and bonuses” as motivating influences.

MSPB pointed to opportunities to use skills, variety of work and significance of projects as areas managers can focus on to improve morale in the workplace. The board recommended rotating employees’ duties and for supervisors to communicate how an individual’s contributions are important to the mission and serving the public good.

The survey also found autonomy to be an influential contributor toward motivation, meaning employees should have the freedom to choose the sequence and methods used to accomplish their work. Federal managers should allow their workers to complete a project from beginning to end -- rather than working on bits and pieces -- to optimize engagement, MSPB found. Once the work is completed, the survey recommended providing appropriate feedback.

When monetary rewards are used as motivation, variety and clarity are key, MSPB found. Managers must clearly communicate availability of awards and the conditions for receiving them, respondents said. The rewards should be consistently available across different job functions.

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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