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OPM has released further data from the 2019 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey on employee engagement with their work and overall satisfaction by agency, adding to previously released information ranking only the top-rated agencies.

While highly-rated agencies commonly tout their standings in their recruitment pitches, websites and other public communications — along with related the Best Places to Work rankings from the Partnership for Public Service — the lower-rated ones often are subject to greater scrutiny from Capitol Hill.


The satisfaction score is a composite of responses to questions about satisfaction with pay, the job, the organization and willingness to recommend the agency as a good place to work.

Among the 36 departments and independent agencies in the “large agency” grouping, the lowest-rated was Education, with a score of 50 percent positive, compared with the group-wide average of 68 percent. Just above it were NLRB, DHS, NARA and the Agency for Global Media.

Among the 42 small agencies—where the average score was 57—the lowest-rated agency with more than 200 respondents was the Corporation for National and Community Service, 43, with the Export-Import Bank at 48. A number of very small entities also had ratings in that range, but in some cases there were few respondents, potentially skewing the findings.

On the employee engagement score—often deemed to be a proxy for morale—DHS, Education and the Agency for Global Media were tied for last among large agencies at 62, compared with the 71 group average, with the NLRB and Agriculture just above them.

For small agencies—where the group average was 70—among those with at least 200 respondents the Export-Import Bank was the lowest at 59, with the Corporation for National and Community Service at 65. A number of small entities with low numbers of respondents also had ratings in that range.