Federal employees have more trust in their supervisors than they do in senior agency leadership on issues related to “reentry” to regular workplaces from maximum telework, the administration’s initial “pulse” survey of the federal workforce has found.

The survey sent starting late last October asked some 2.2 million federal employees — about 3 percent of whom responded — to rate statements on equity, engagement and reentry on a scale of 1 to 5 (from strongly disagree to strongly agree).


The government-wide score was 4.0 to the statement “I trust my supervisor will help me navigate the reentry transition.” In contrast, the score was just 3.4 on the statement “I trust agency leadership to do what’s right to protect employee health, safety and wellbeing.”

In a blog posting, OMB noted that while the response to the statement regarding agency leadership was above the 3.0 midpoint, “it was also the question that showed the most variation across agencies and components.”

On the high end, National Science Foundation, GSA and NASA scored above 4.0 while on the low end were DHS (3.0), Justice, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DoD and VA (all 3.3). The same three top agencies also scored highest regarding trust in immediate supervisors, while DoD and Justice were the only two scoring below the overall average of 4.0 on that statement, at 3.8 and 3.9.

The third question in the “reentry” category produced an overall score of 3.6 on the statement “If I had a job elsewhere with more workplace flexibilities or remote options, I would take it.”

The response to a statement going to the issue of burnout and job stress—”I feel exhausted in the morning at the thought of another day at work”—was exactly neutral at 3.0, while scores were 3.9 and 3.7 regarding having someone at work to talk to about day to day problems and having the support needed to do the job well; and 3.3 to one on the reasonableness of the workload.

Average responses were 3.7 to a statement about leadership support for diversity and inclusion; 3.2 to “If I found a job elsewhere with the same pay and benefits as this one, I would take it”; and 2.4 to “I feel that maybe I don’t belong in my agency.”

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