Federal Manager's Daily Report

Additional data on last fall’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey breaking down responses by certain demographics, recently released by OPM, show sharp differences of opinion on performance management in the workplace by the roles the survey assigns to the jobs of respondents.

On one of the statements with the lowest positive rating overall, “in my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve,” 70 percent of senior leaders agreed or strongly agreed, compared with 60 percent of managers, and 51 percent of supervisors, compared with just 37 percent of both team leaders and non-supervisory employees.


Views also differed regarding what happens with poor performers, with for example 29 percent of senior leaders saying they remain in the work unit and improve, compared with just 15 percent of non-supervisory employees who said that. Similarly, 33 percent of the former group said they stay in the work unit and continue to underperform, while 52 percent of the latter group said that.

Regarding the rewards side of performance management, 74 percent of senior leaders said that differences in performance “are rewarded in a meaningful way” in their work unit, including 32 percent who strongly agreed. However, just 47 percent of non-supervisory employees responded positively, with only 14 percent strongly agreeing. Meanwhile, 11 percent of non-supervisors strongly disagreed, triple the 3.5 percent among senior leaders.

As with the statement regarding whether steps are taken to deal with poor performers, responses to those two issues tended to consistently increase or decrease up or down the five levels the survey assigned to jobs.

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