Federal Manager's Daily Report

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An interagency council has urged agencies to address turnover rates among veterans in the federal workforce, citing data showing that after controlling for other factors, veterans resign at a rate 1.6 times higher than non-veterans.

The Interagency Veterans Advisory Council noted that the GAO found last year that 18.7 percent of veterans resign within their first year of federal employment compared with 11.1 percent of similar non-veterans. One result is that the percentage of veterans in the federal workforce has remained steady at around 31 percent in recent years despite initiatives to hire them into federal jobs; the most recent data from OPM show that in recent years veterans accounted for between 38 and 47 percent of all those newly hired into full-time permanent, non-seasonal federal jobs.

“The higher veteran attrition rate highlights the need for both interagency and intra-agency action. Federal agencies should look to leverage lessons learned and best practices so that departments and agencies can improve attrition rates among veterans,” it said.

One recommendation was to act on findings from the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey on factors that have been statistically linked to lower turnover among veterans: satisfaction with pay; meaningfulness of work; confidence in leaders; opportunities for advancement; training and skill development; and relationship with supervisors.

Also, it said, “federal agencies should look to collaborate and share data surrounding retention programs and other retention best practices, especially when it comes to veteran employment. This would allow agencies to utilize the institutional knowledge and best practices from across government, and potentially lead to their lower attrition rates of veteran employees.”

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