Uncle Sam Will Ask Feds About Pay, Job Satisfaction This Spring

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta sent a memo to agency leaders on Friday notifying them of the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta sent a memo to agency leaders on Friday notifying them of the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Carolyn Kaster/AP

The Office of Personnel Management will begin soliciting feedback later this month from federal employees on compensation, morale and job satisfaction as part of its annual workforce survey.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta sent a memo to agency leaders on Friday notifying them of the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which OPM will administer across government beginning in late April and ending in June. Some results will be available in late August, with full results announced in the fall, Archuleta said.

“In my visits with you, I know you are keenly aware of workforce morale and intend on using the results of the FEVS to improve the work experiences of all your employees,” Archuleta wrote, noting the adverse effects of sequestration, furloughs and the October government shutdown on federal employees over the past year.

Job satisfaction among federal workers dropped nearly across the board in 2013 -- a year marked by furloughs, a pay freeze and proposals to reduce federal employee compensation, according to the most recent FEVS. The 2013 survey reflects the input of 376,577 federal workers. Just 44 percent of employees in the 2013 FEVS said they had sufficient resources to do their jobs, down from 48 percent last year and 50 percent in 2010.

While overall job satisfaction fell between 2012 and 2013, most notably with pay, officials always have noted that the survey is not just about satisfaction, but about how employees perceive how they are treated in the workplace and the level of commitment they feel to their jobs. More than 90 percent of participants in the 2013 survey reported a desire to put in extra effort, look for ways to do their jobs better and view their work as important, according to OPM.

More employees were satisfied with telework in the 2013 survey, and said their supervisors treated them with respect than the previous year, making up the only two categories with an increase in positive responses from 2012.  

In some ways, 2014 so far has been an improvement over last year, though it’s unclear whether that will be reflected in the upcoming survey. The three-year pay freeze on federal civilian workers was lifted, and sequestration, though still in effect, has been partially repealed for fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015. But because respondents provided feedback for the 2013 survey before October’s government shutdown, the 2014 FEVS could include more negative feedback.  Many people inside and outside of government remain concerned over the morale of federal workers and the effect budget cuts, benefit reductions and negative political rhetoric have had on agencies’ ability to recruit and retain talented personnel.

Three Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, including Ranking Member Elijah Cummings of Maryland, asked the Government Accountability Office in March to determine why federal employee morale is low, assessing recruitment and retention, performance and productivity, the achievement of agency missions, how well OPM helps agencies improve employee engagement and lessons learned from agencies that have significantly improved employee engagement.

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.