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2012 FEVS Says Government Workers Remain Mission-Focused
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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The 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), released this month by the Office of Personnel Management, indicate that federal employees’ remain dedicated to their jobs in spite of an overall decline in morale.  

FEVS is a tool that measures employees' perceptions of whether, and to what extent, conditions characterizing successful organizations are present in their agencies. Survey results provide valuable insight into the challenges agency leaders face in ensuring the federal government has an effective civilian workforce and how well they are responding. For the 2012 survey, OPM attempted to reach every permanent civilian government employee in the Executive branch with very few exceptions. A record breaking 687,687 employees made their voices heard. This is the largest number of participants since the survey was first administered in 2002, and more than double the number of respondents from any previous employee viewpoint survey.  

The 2012 FEVS indicates the federal workforce remains resilient. They seem to be hardworking, motivated, and mission-focused even amidst the many challenges facing government today.

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Federal workforce remains mission-focused and hardworking

  • Nearly all Federal employees report that their work is important, they are constantly looking for ways to do their job better, and they are willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done. This finding is consistent across the 82 Federal agencies that participated in the 2012 FEVS.
  • Eight out of 10 employees like the work they do, understand how their work relates to the agency’s goals and priorities, and rate the overall quality of the work done by their work unit as high. 

Employee engagement remains strong 

  • Employee engagement scores are relatively consistent with the 2010 levels. Approximately two out of three employees report positive conditions for engagement still exist in their agencies. Federal employees’ satisfaction with their jobs, pay, and organizations are areas of continued risk.
  • This year employee responses were down two percentage points when recommending their organization as a good place to work (67 percent) and down three percentage points with their satisfaction with their job (68 percent) and organization (59 percent).
  • Satisfaction with pay (59 percent) had the greatest impact on the Global Satisfaction scores, as it decreased by four percentage points. This is pay satisfaction’s lowest level since the 2004 survey administration.
  • Two out of 10 employees feel pay raises are related to their job performance.
  • Three out of 10 employees feel that their performance is recognized in a meaningful way and that promotions are based on merit. 

Though some areas trended downward, results vary by agency and subcomponents within agencies. The FEVS presents an opportunity for agency leadership to make improvements. The real value in the FEVS is how it is used by agencies to improve services for the American people. 
Download the complete report from the OPM website.

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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