OPM says federal employee job satisfaction is up

employee data (kentoh/ 

After months of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Personnel released some preliminary findings from the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

The annual survey provides information on employment engagement and satisfaction among feds. This year, OPM also asked employees about their agency's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is used by the Partnership for Public Service to make the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government Report.

Job satisfaction among federal employees is at 71.6%, up by around three percentage points from 2019 and 5.4 percentage points from 2016, according to the OPM release. Organizational satisfaction, pay satisfaction and employees' readiness to recommend their workplace to others have also risen since 2019.

OPM also highlighted pandemic-related findings. Over three fourths of survey respondents said that "their senior leaders provided effective communications about the COVID-19 pandemic," and 85% of respondents indicated that "their supervisor supported their efforts to stay health and safe during the pandemic."

Michael Rigas, acting director of OPM, said in a statement that, "the Federal workforce remains resilient and motivated to serve the American people through even the most challenging times."

The rollout of the survey was slated for June 2020 before being pushed back twice due to the pandemic. It eventually rolled out in September of last year.

Lawmakers have drawn attention to the delays. Last summer, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said that OPM's reasoning for the second delay in beginning the survey was "conflicting and contradictory." At the time, he requested documents and a briefing from the personnel office.

Participation in the survey is voluntary and feds had six weeks to complete the survey. This year, 44.3% participated, which is over 1.5% more than last year’s rate.

Agencies are in the process of receiving survey reports, the release stated. The public release of the results is set to be in the early spring.

About the Author

Natalie Alms is a staff writer at FCW covering the federal workforce. She is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University and has written for the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. Connect with Natalie on Twitter at @AlmsNatalie.


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