Fedweek

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Preliminary results of the 2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey from DoD and DHS—which together make up about half of the non-postal federal workforce—continue to show that employee views of leadership decline with each successively higher level.

The survey does not ask all of the same questions about views on immediate supervisors, mid-level managers and senior leaders—the latter of which is not specifically defined but is generally interpreted to mean SES level and political appointees above them. On two questions where there are direct comparisons:

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* 77 percent at DoD and 75 percent at DHS were positive regarding the job their immediate supervisor is doing, compared with 65 and 60 percent regarding the job the manager directly above that supervisor is doing; and

* 75 percent at DoD and 73 percent at DHS were positive regarding their trust and respect for their immediate supervisor compared with 62 and 53 with a high level of respect for their organization’s senior leaders.

The general pattern of decline also is reflected on other questions about views of leadership, as it was in prior years on the survey.

Immediate supervisors received positive ratings of 77 and 71 for support of employee development; 82 and 79 for listening to what the employee has to say; and 86 and 84 for treating the employee with respect.

Next-level managers received positive ratings of 65 and 58 for communicating the goals of the organization; and 59 and 51 for promoting communication among work units.

Senior leaders received positive ratings of 51 and 42 percent for generating high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce; and 62 and 52 for maintaining high levels of honesty and integrity.

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