The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently released the 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results. In this year’s survey, 376,577 federal employees provided opinions on all aspects of their employment: their work experiences, their supervisors, and their agency.

According to the press release, the 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results present two very clear conclusions.

  1. 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.
  2. Despite the tremendous strengths and dedication shown by federal employees, the 2013 responses demonstrate a significant drop in employee satisfaction and continue 2012’s declines across the majority of questions, which are cause for concern.

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 to take actions to increase satisfaction and engagement with the ultimate goal of improving services to the American public. This year, agencies will receive even more granular survey results at manager levels that will allow them to identify challenges and to take specific actions.

HCAAF performance

Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) indices were created to guide agencies in building high-performing organizations by providing consistent metrics for measuring progress toward HCAAF objectives. The FEVS offers one source of information for agencies to evaluate and measure the success on all four indices that make up the HCAAF:

  1. leadership and knowledge management
  2. results-oriented performance culture
  3. talent management
  4. job satisfaction.

According to the results, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was the top performing department/large agency on all four indices. NASA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Federal Trade Commission were the top three agencies in three of the four indices. (See Appendix E in the full report for a full list of HCAAF index agency scores and trends from 2008.)

Employee engagment

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The FEVS Employee Engagement Index is an overarching model comprised of three subfactors:

  1. leaders lead
  2. supervisors
  3. intrinsic work experiences.

The survey does not directly measure employee engagement. It does, however, cover most, if not all, of the conditions likely to lead to employee engagement. For 2013 results, there were slight decreases on all three subfactors of employee engagement.

 “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,” says 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,” concludes Archuleta. 

Download the full report at http://www.fedview.opm.gov/2013.