Last month, we pulled apart the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) in “Great Places to Work in the Federal Government.” Yesterday, Partnership for Public Service, now in its 15th year, released its own annual report card on government organizations. It’s called the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government,” and this sort of analysis is always worth a look, especially, of course, if you’re in the market for a new job almost anywhere across the country.


This 13th annual “Best Place to Work” (BPTW) is singularly about employee engagement. For the Partnership for Public Service, employee engagement means “the satisfaction and commitment of the workforce and the willingness of employees to put forth discretionary effort to achieve results.” The report draws on the views of over 400,000 federal employees from nearly 400 organizations of various sizes. BPTW is very similar to the FEVS. Indeed, 96 percent of employees who contributed to FEVS also contributed views to BPTW. However, there are some differences. For instance, BTPW includes viewpoints from employees in 12 other federal organizations. Most important for cleared professionals’ purposes, that includes a timely roll-up group of the Intelligence Community (which ranks #3 of 18 large agencies).


Size matters, so “Best Place to Work” evaluates employee views in four categories: Large Agency, Midsize Agency, Small Agency, and Agency Sub-Components, which allows us to glimpse deeper inside organizations—for instance, we can look at Department of the Treasury, and we can also see how the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is doing compared to other subordinate organizations. Organization results fall across four grades: Lower Quartile (0–25 percent), Below Median (25–50 percent), Above Median (50–75 percent), and where we all want to recharge our iPhones in the morning, in the Upper Quartile (75–100 percent).


“Best Places to Work” is, frankly, easy to use. From one interactive page, we can surf across all four size categories without leaving the page. We can sort the results easily to get a snapshot, for instance, of which organizations are best descending to the worst, or vice versa. We can see which have improved the most to the least, or ascend from the least to the most improvement. And if you have a penchant for working in organizations based on ascending or descending alphabetic order, of course you can see that.


Besides the outcomes and some data analysis, “Best Places to Work” offers some additional resources that managers and leaders may find helpful—indeed, Partnership For Public Service is about a whole lot more than this report card. It’s about making government service better and better, because the Partnership sees the ideal of productive, rewarding selfless civil service as an achievable goal. For instance, on it’s the “Best Place to Work” Resources page, the Partnership offers titles like “Ten Years of the Best Places to Work Rankings,” “Connecting HR, IT and Contract Specialists to their Agency Missions,” and especially important for right now, “Moving the Needle on Employee Engagement During the Presidential Transition.” And they’re all .pdfs, so you can make them your own—easily and free.


Whether you plan to stay in place for the next decade, or you’d like to move around a bit during the transition period, “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” isn’t to be missed. And it might be worthwhile reviewing’s blogs from last month on the same topic: “Great Places to Work for the Federal Government,” “Best Federal Jobs for Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers,” and “Diversity at Top Federal Agencies Fosters Culture of Innovation.” Between FEVS and the Partnership for Public Service’s “Best Place to Work in the Federal Government,” you may be be surprised, and even happy, with what you find.

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Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.