Fedweek

An officer with Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations reviews travel the documents of an arriving international airline pilot at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., March 18, 2020. (CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

As they did the prior year, DHS employees indicated in the 2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey that their supervisors have more concern for their health and safety than do senior agency leaders, with the gap widening somewhat.

DHS is one of several federal agencies that began rolling out its results from the government-wide survey conducted last fall ahead of a broader report from OPM; however, DHS is one of the few to also provide responses to additional questions that first became part of the survey in 2020 related to pandemic response.

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For example, about 78 percent agreed or strongly agreed in 2021 that their supervisor “shows concern for my health and safety” and “supports my efforts to stay safe and healthy when working” up by about 1 percentage point in both cases over 2020. And 73 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their supervisor “creates an environment where I can voice my concerns about staying healthy and safe” up about 2 points.

In contrast, only 64 responded positively to “my organization’s senior leaders demonstrate commitment to employee health and safety,” down from 70 percent; and 65 percent to “my organization’s senior leaders support policies and procedures to protect employee health and safety,” down from 72 percent.

The percentage who responded positively to “based on my organization’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe my organization will respond effectively to future emergencies” fell from 61 to 55 percent.

Only just above half, 54 percent, responded positively to a new item, “in plans to return more employees to the worksite, my organization has made employee safety a top priority,” while 26 percent were neutral and the rest about evenly split between disagree and strongly disagree.

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