Federal employee morale has declined due to salary freezes, tight budgets and negative attitude many American’s have toward federal agencies, according to a new report.
The OPM’s Employee Viewpoint Survey found that more than 90 percent of surveyed federal employees feel their work is important and are passionate and dedicated to their agency’s mission. However, job satisfaction was down two percentage points from 2011 (66% from 68%). Plus, attitudes toward leadership and knowledge management, results-oriented performance culture, and talent management had a slight decline from 2011 results as well.
“Today’s federal leaders are facing significant challenges in keeping the workforce motivated and engaged in light of frozen salaries, slashed budgets, and recent public sentiment toward federal employees,” said John Berry, the government’s personnel chief, in the introduction to the survey.
A total of 687,687 workers responded to the survey, which is the highest number of participants since the survey was first conducted in 2002. It was the first time the survey was sent to all permanent full- and part-time federal employees — about 1.6 million workers — compared with 266,000 in the 2011 sample. For the first time, half of surveyed Federal employees said pay raises do not depend on performance, while only 22 percent agree that performance and pay are linked.
Federal workers were overall unsatisfied with their jobs and pay, with only 63 percent saying they would recommend their agency as a good place to work. Ninety-one percent of federal employees said they are constantly looking to perform better at their jobs, yet only 57.8 percent they felt encouraged to do better, down from 59.4 percent last year.
Telework for federal employees is increasing, with 36.2 percent of employees having been notified that they are eligible to do so, compared to 27.2 percent who were notified last year.
Employees of the Homeland Security Department were the least satisfied with their jobs and superiors than other federal employees. They were also more likely to see mission execution as unsuccessful and more likely to disagree that their workplace rewards creativity and innovation. Only 46 percent of DHS employees said their work culture is focused on getting results.