Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life: Not very family-friendly

The new director of the Office of Personnel Management has his work cut out for him if he is as family friendly as his previous experience suggests. The 2009 Best Places to Work survey showed that employees gave agencies the highest scores for using their skills well and the lowest scores for having a family-friendly culture.

The family-friendly culture category measured the extent to which employees believe family-friendly flexibilities are offered to them.  These benefits include telecommuting, alternative work scheduling, and personal support benefits such as child care subsidies and wellness programs.

The top-ranked family-friendly agency is the General Services Administration (with a score of 59.8) and the lowest-ranked is the Homeland Security Department (34.1).

On the other hand, agencies ranked higher on work life balance, which measured the extent to which employees consider their workloads reasonable, and managers support a balance between work and life. 

On work life balance, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ranked highest (76.6). Work life balance was one of the factors that made the NRC the top-ranked agency overall, the best place to work, with a score of 80.7.

The survey also compared working for the federal government to working in the private sector. Federal employees score higher than private-sector employees on cooperation among co-workers to get a job done. Federal employees also feel they have opportunity to improve skills in their organization.

On the other hand, federal employees score lower on questions relating to satisfaction with their organizations. The lowest scores showed dissatisfaction with information received from management and knowing what’s going on in an organization.

Still, overall there has been a slight improvement over time in employee satisfaction. Maybe with a presumably family-friendly White House, this aspect of federal work life will improve too.

Posted by Judith Welles on May 26, 2009 at 12:12 PM


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