Workforce

Fed millennials are a satisfied bunch

team of attentive businesspeople

Almost two thirds of millenials in the federal workforce are satisfied with their jobs and 62 percent would recommend their organization as a good place to work, according to an Office of Personnel Management report released Oct. 8.

That number runs counter to years of OPM's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which have found job satisfaction to be on the decline. In the 2013 survey, fewer than half of respondents (45.1 percent) were satisfied with their job.

The report, "Millennials: Finding Opportunity in Federal Service," also said that members of the age cohort, defined as individuals born after 1980, want to work for organizations that support creativity and innovation -- something the government is often criticized for not doing well enough. Just one in three federal millennials said that creativity and innovation are rewarded in their organizations.

"They would like greater ability to employ creativity and innovation in the work that they do, and they say they would like more opportunities to develop and progress in their careers," the report said.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said "limited budgets have certainly hindered our opportunity," but now that budgets "have some relief," improvements can be expected in innovation and creativity.

A changing budget landscape also means that agencies will be able to start hiring more millennials -- who now make up 16 percent of the workforce.

"Now that there is a few more dollars for hiring, we see there is an uptick to fill those positions that have been on hold for a while," Archuleta said in a press call to discuss the report.

For those already in the workforce, retention and career advancement remain concerns.

While 66 percent of millennials said their supervisor supports employee development, only 34 percent were satisfied with the opportunities they have for career advancement at their organizations.

In STEM fields, millennials represent 15 percent of the workforce, but only 2 percent of millennials in the federal workforce work in information technology management, according to the report.

Aside from some of the programs already in place to recruit people to government, like the Presidential Management Fellows program, OPM is also developing a plan called REDI, which stands for recruitment, engagement, diversity, and inclusion.

"Through this initiative, OPM officials have identified several ways to better attract and help job seekers, including millennials, navigate the path to Federal service, including enhancements to the Pathways programs, which provide internships to students in school and to recent college graduates," the report said.

Out of the millenials that responded to the FEVS, 86 percent said the work they do is important.

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

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