OPM is asking agencies to warm up their employees ahead of the annual FEVS and explain how results are used. Image: Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock.com

OPM will soon begin sending out the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the main way the government takes the pulse of its workforce on working conditions, morale, views of management and more. The survey will be administered in two phases, each of six weeks, beginning next Monday (May 13).

In a memo, OPM as usual encouraged agencies to support the survey, which has suffered from declining employee participation rates in recent years—in part related to the continuing negative views of employees that the results will be used to make improvements in their workplaces.


OPM told agencies: “If you haven’t done so already, please share past results of the survey. Tell employees about steps being taken based on the findings within your agencies and what the outcomes of those efforts have been. In addition to sharing information, providing official time to complete the survey can help increase participation rates. Finally, remember to continue to stress that leadership values employee opinions.”

While the numbers change somewhat year to year, consistently the most positive responses involve whether employees are willing to put in extra work to get the job done, whether they are constantly looking for ways to do the job better, and whether they believe their work is important. The most negative involve whether pay raises depend on how well employees perform their work, whether steps are taken to deal with poor performers, whether promotions are based on merit, whether differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way, and satisfaction with advancement opportunities.