Poll: Most Fed Govt. Workers Happy Campers

March 27, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A government survey of federal employees found that they generally believe they are well managed, have jobs they like and are highly motivated by helping their agencies succeed.

That was a key finding of the Merit Principles Survey 2005 released this week by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in a report to Congress.

The mostly online poll included 36,926 Federal employees who were part of a random representative sample of the 1.8 million full-time permanent members of the federal workforce, the MSPB said.

According to the report, among the survey’s findings were:

  • Federal employees are “highly committed” to the missions of their agencies and work to further those missions.
  • Employees understand the missions of their agencies (95%) and believe that their agency’s mission is important (95%).
  • A large majority (76%) believe their agency accomplishes its mission successfully and an equal percentage (76%) report that their agency produces high-quality products and services for the public.
  • Three-quarters of participants believe that their agency’s workforce has the knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish its mission.
  • Over three-quarters of all employees (76%) would recommend the federal government as a place to work.
  • Although a majority of respondents say they are being sufficiently trained to do their jobs (63%), a sizable minority (48%) would like additional training to improve their performance.
  • Non-supervisory employees do not believe they are as well informed as their supervisors – particularly about issues surrounding performance.
  • Most survey participants (60%) believe their agency treats them fairly in employment matters.
  • Nearly half of the supervisory participants report dealing with at least one serious workplace conflict during the past year and more than one-third of employees had experienced a serious workplace conflict during the past two years.
  • A vast majority of federal employees are satisfied with their work and feel secure, perceiving that their jobs are stable.
  • Employees value recognition for a job well done. In general, a majority of employees are satisfied with the pay they receive (60%) but not with the recognition and rewards granted to them (39%).
  • Nearly a quarter of survey participants said they were likely to leave their agency in the next year. Of those planning a departure, almost a third planned to retire, just over a third planned to move to another federal job and a small number (5%) planned to resign from government employment.

The MSPB report also included a series of recommendations for federal managers:

  • Agencies need to identify why they may not be reaching a high-quality applicant pool through their recruitment and selection procedures.
  • Supervisors and their employees should work together to identify training needs that will support the organization's mission and prioritize the organization's training activities accordingly.
  • Agencies, supervisors, and non-supervisory employees should work together to continue strengthening the trust and working relationship between supervisors and their employees.
  • Agencies must create a culture in which employees trust that their performance will be accurately rated, that they will be treated fairl, and that adequate resources are available to reward and recognize them.
  • Agencies should implement workforce planning strategies that utilize recruitment, retention and training methods to build and sustain a high-quality workforce.

The MSPB studies the hiring, development, and management of federal civilian employees to ensure that agencies follow the federal merit principles and do not allow prohibited personnel practices to occur.

A full copy of the report is here .