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Satisfaction Among Federal Workers Remains Steady, Says 2015 FEVS

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Office of Personnel Management released the results of the 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Although there is slight rise in satisfaction, leadership remains low. Specifically, the government-wide Global Satisfaction Index score rose 1 percent; this score measures an employee’s job, pay and organizational satisfaction.  Acting OPM Direct Beth Cobert writes in a September 29 blog post that these score tell us “that employees are more satisfied with their jobs, their pay, and their organizations and that they are more likely to recommend their agency to others.”

 Meanwhile, Leadership scores, which measure employees’ opinions on their leader’s ability to communicate and maintain high standards, rose to 51 percent after its five-year low of 50 percent in 2014, which had dropped 3 percent from 2013. Federal employees’ satisfaction with their immediate supervisors held steady at 71 percent. It’s clear that agencies need to continue to “focus on senior leadership,” says Cobert. 

Agencies also boosted their government-wide employee engagement scores by 1 percent in 2015—from 63 percent to 64 percent, with individual gains higher in some agencies.  OPM defines engagement as “an employee’s sense of purpose, manifest in the level of dedication, persistence, and effort that he or she puts into the work and into the overall commitment to an agency and its mission.” 


Although gains seem minor on the Employee Engagement Index, it is statistically significant, explains Cobert. “The FEVS provides a powerful way for agency leaders to evaluate their engagement programs and office cultures. As leaders, we know that employee engagement drives performance and is closely tied to mission success in the Federal Government, which translates into better customer service for the American people,” she says. 

The FEVS report provides a first look at OPM’s New Inclusion Quotient (or New IQ Index), which is a measure of employees’ sense of inclusion in their workplaces—meaning how fair, open, cooperative, supportive, and empowering they perceive their workplaces to be. The New IQ score rose by 1 percent government-wide to 57 percent. Again, this is another small increase, but Cobert asserts in an October 6 blog post that it still meaningful growth because “employees who feel a strong sense of inclusion are better performers on the job and contribute more of their talents to the vital public service missions of their agencies.” 

The OPM survey polled nearly 422,000 federal employees on factors like job satisfaction, employee engagement, agency leadership. Results are posted on UnlockTalent.gov.


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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