Executives and management in the federal workforce could see their performance reviews affected based on their employees’ engagement scores from the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).
This information was publicly revealed when the news site Federal News Radio obtained a draft of a memo to agency leaders from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Presidential Personnel Office.
In the 2014 FEVS, the overall federal employee engagement score was 63 percent.
The Obama administration’s goal, according to the memo, is to raise that score to 67 percent by 2016. Federal workforce surveys have revealed persistent job dissatisfaction among federal workers.
“This goal for Federal agencies can only be met if we use the feedback from employees to inform actions by each leader, manager and supervisor, and empower supervisors at unit levels to improve employee engagement locally,” the memo reads.
A Partnership for Public Service report from August noted that while nearly 9 out of 10 workers said they are trying to improve their job performance, only slightly more than half of federal workers — 54.7 percent — said they receive encouragement and recognition from their bosses to do so.
This memo is the first indication that senior managers may be held more accountable for employee engagement.
While OMB Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert called the memo a “genuine opportunity” at a recent meeting of the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, others are troubled by the emphasis put on the survey results.
“The survey is a tool,” Bill Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, told Federal News Radio in an interview. “It shouldn’t be viewed as an end result or a goal unto itself.”
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