Federal Manager's Daily Report

OPM guidance on pulling up employee engagement as measured by the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey lists ways for agencies to use those survey results to identify “strengths in your organization and on opportunities for improvement.”

The most common, it said, is the “absolute” standard under which if 65 percent or more of employees respond favorably, the item is a strength and if 35 percent or more respond unfavorable it is a weakness.


OPM said that commonly is used along with a “relative” standard which compares a result with the government-wide average. “A rule of thumb to use is if responses to an item are more than 5 percent different between groups, then it may be worth investigating; the larger the difference, the more noteworthy,” it said.

A third is to look for patterns across content categories that are related or patterns of responses within a category. A fourth is for management to use results to form a judgment about areas that most need improvement and which are most related to the agency’s strategic goals.

While FEVS results are statistically valid, it adds, they do not tell the entire story and agencies should consider using other tools such as focus groups “to fully understand what is going on.”