Fedweek

Employees who telework have a higher engagement and satisfaction score (74.6) than the overall average. Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.com

The latest report on best places to work in the government shows some gains in employee views of their agencies but also continues to show differences in those views by several factors.

The overall employee satisfaction and engagement score increased by 2.3 percentage points to 65.7 in the rankings from the Partnership for Public Service, mirroring gains in last year’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results that underly the rankings. Of the 73 agencies and 459 subcomponents rated, 49 and 303, respectively, increased or held steady.

That “reflects a stepped-up effort on employee engagement and satisfaction by the Biden administration, and may also have been influenced by a flurry of important laws enacted by Congress during the past several years. These actions have required increased commitment by the workforce at agencies across the federal enterprise to implement a wide range of major new policies and programs designed to help individuals, companies and the economy,” the Partnership said.

“Some sense of normalcy and stability developed in 2023, even if uncertainties remained, with many workers adjusting to the new realities of the workplace post pandemic, and agencies continuing combinations of in-office, hybrid and full-time telework,” it added.

However, the report also shows differences including differences by age. For example, employees age 60 and older had the highest overall score of any age group (73.4), an increase of 1.8 points, while those between 30 and 39 have the lowest (62.3), including views of senior leadership, recognition, work-life balance and professional development.

“Considering that this group will soon assume leadership and supervisory roles across the federal government, leaders need to pay close attention to why they struggle and how to enhance their engagement and satisfaction,” it said.

Also, employees younger than 30 have the highest dissatisfaction with pay and feel the least connected to the agency’s mission, “a warning for agency leaders about retention, and the future recruitment of the young employees needed to refresh an aging workforce.”

Other differences included that:

* Employees who telework have a higher engagement and satisfaction score (74.6) than the overall average.

* Employees gave a significantly higher score to their immediate supervisors (80.2) than to senior leaders (57.3), although the latter score did increase by two points.

* Scores tended to decrease as the size of the agency increased. The range of scores for the top 10 subcomponents was 88.2 to 96.7, compared with 75-93.6 for small agencies, 75.4 to 87.2 for medium agencies and 67.2 to 82.5 for large agencies.

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