OPM survey finds employees enjoy work, but dislike their bosses

2006 Federal Human Capital Survey finds feds more satisfied with how important their work is but not with how they are being recognized for it.

Federal workers love the importance of their jobs but want more recognition, according to the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Human Capital Survey for 2006. The survey, which OPM conducts every two years, gauges how federal employees feel about their jobs, bosses and work.OPM canvassed more than 221,000 employees from all major agencies represented on the President’s Management Council, along with several small and independent agencies.OPM reported that an overwhelming majority of the feds surveyed — 90 percent — believe their work is important, and 83 percent said they believe that they understand how their work contributes to their agencies.OPM broke the results down by agency. Most of the top-ranking agencies were small  or offer many professional positions such as engineer or scientist. Higher ranking agencies tended to excel in multiple categories. “An agency that does well does well across the board,” said OPM Director Linda Springer. The categories include leadership and knowledge management, results-oriented performance culture, talent management, and job satisfaction. NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Office of Management and Budget ranked in the top 10 in all four categories. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Trade Commission, National Credit Union and the General Services Administration ranked in the top 10 in three categories, while the Commerce and State departments and the U.S. Agency for International Development landed in the top 10 in two categories. Finally, the Justice Department and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency each made it into one top category. Meanwhile, the Homeland Security Department was among the worst performers, finishing dead last in two of OPM’s categories and near the bottom in the other two.OPM was not present on any of the four top ten lists, but Springer attributed this to a large number of newer workers in the agency, many of whom chose to answer “not sure” on many questions.Although they reported being happy with their jobs, feds were less satisfied with senior management’s treatment of employees and agency efforts to recognize high achievement. Only half of the workers surveyed believed they received the recognition they deserved for their efforts and fewer than a third said they thought agencies were taking the appropriate steps to reprimand poorly performing colleagues.Unions said the numbers showed a serious problem with agency management.“When 30 percent or more of the employees in a given agency seriously question the policies and practices of senior management, there clearly are problems that need to be addressed,” said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. The union represents 150,000 employees across 30 agencies.Kelley said managers should interact more with organizations such as the NTEU to address problems. “Agency leadership must find a way to get past their reluctance to deal effectively and forthrightly with employee representatives to address and resolve the issues driving this serious level of dissatisfaction,” she said.Representatives for government executives also questioned the validity of the results for larger, multi-departmental agencies. Senior Executives Association President Carol Bonosaro said smaller or profession-based agencies have more clearly defined and measurable goals than large agencies whose goals may be more widespread.“It’s a composite score of a bunch of component agencies,” she said. “I’m wondering if any of these scores in the departments were broken out by the component agencies, one might see different results within a department. There might be a difference within the Commerce Department between the International Trade Administration” and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Drilling down into those smaller component departments may be the key to figuring out how to improve overall morale at large agencies. DHS has already created a working group, which includes Chief Human Capital Office and Undersecretary of Management Paul Schneider, to do that.Springer pledged to continue working with all agencies to glean best practices from higher-ranking agencies and improve worker morale across the board.

Federal Human Capital Survey; Office of Personnel Management

Related Links


























Interaction urged











DHS targets employee unhappinessThe Homeland Security Department is working to improve its low worker satisfaction ratings. The department ranked last on the Office of Personnel Management’s 2006 Federal Human Capital Survey for job satisfaction and results-oriented performance, second to last for leadership and knowledge management, and fourth to last for talent management. The results are similar to those in a survey OPM conducted in 2004.

To create a stronger worker culture, DHS’ Chief Human Capital Office and the department’s undersecretary for management, Paul Schneider, have created a working group to analyze the causes for worker dissatisfaction on a component-by-component basis.

Strengthening core management is one of DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff’s highest priorities, DHS Chief Operating Officer Michael Jackson said in a memo to agency employees Jan. 30. “The key elements are effective communications and proper recognition of our workforce,” he wrote.

Jackson said leaders of DHS’ departments and component agencies will keep open lines of communication.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.