A pandemic, a change in administration, inflation issues, and your own personal life can cause stress outside the workplace – but if your workplace is the federal government, you have added pressure to do your job well, so the American people thrive.

But what if federal workers are becoming unhappy with their employment? As we forecast the next 10 years of policy, federal jobs, and the future of work, the satisfaction of the federal workforce is vital.

The Partnership for Public Service collects data for the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings, also produced with the Boston Consulting Group. They join us for the Security Clearance Careers podcast to talk about pay, telework, security clearance hot topics and give us an initial preview of this year’s data.

Loren DeJonge Schulman has spent her career advising senior U.S. government officials on strategic planning, good governance, crisis management, and the success of fast-paced, complex organizations. Loren is the Vice President, Research, Evaluation and Modernizing Government at the Partnership for Public Service and leads their efforts to develop forward-thinking solutions that change the way government works; especially in attracting the next generation of talent or ensuring that government workers are happy as we have cross generational teams.


This annual report measures the engagement of federal employees and their satisfaction with supporting their specific agency. Hopefully, we don’t experience another pandemic; however, the report can serve as a roadmap for the future on how federal workers are affected by external events, how they can be better supported by government leaders, and from a cleared candidate’s perspective, what are the best agencies to apply to, of course. These rankings can also deliver a way to hold leaders accountable for the wellbeing of their respective agencies, inspiring change if there are issues spotlighted as trends within the report.

Ultimately, these metrics give federal government leaders a guide to better manage the government’s most important asset— people.

The Office of Personnel Management and other agencies have finished collecting the data and have given an initial preview. As the last report showed that federal employees were still feeling the challenges of COVID-19 and the lack of clarity between remote work office work, we anticipate that this next report will continue a downward trend in employee satisfaction and engagement. The last round of rankings showed an overall engagement and satisfaction score of 64.5 out of 100, representing a 4.5-point decrease from 2020. However, Loren notes that even though we are seeing this downward trend, federal government workers are still happier than private sector employees / contractors.

Tune in to this episode of the Security Clearance Careers Podcast to learn more about:

  • Pay, employee satisfaction, work life balance, and much more within a few arms of the federal workforce like the Intelligence Community (IC), the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and the FBI.
  • A few hot topics among clearance holders like changes in terms of teleworking.
  • How to better your recruiting, retention and attrition rates when working with different generations.
  • Tips on how best to navigate the government job application process.

To learn more about the Partnership for Public Service, visit ourpublicservice.org, or subscribe to their podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA – the nation’s number one cyber defense agency. Today, the agency has grown and evolved, assuring the nation’s critical and physical infrastructure is secure, resilient, and reliable. Learn more about CISA career opportunities at www.cisa.gov/careers

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸