A First (Quick) Look at the 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results
The 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results are out. There are thousands of ways you can slice and dice the data, but for instant analysis, let’s look at a few key points.
First, the results overall are showing the toll of pay freezes, sequestration and furlough concerns, reduced training and everyone having to do more with less. Positive responses to a majority of the questions declined; a phenomenon that started last year. There was a significant drop in employee satisfaction.
Second, in what I call the 80% club – critical mass in that at least 80% of the respondents had a positive response and probably impact culture as a result — we have the following questions:
• When needed I am willing to put in the extra effort to get a job done. (An impressive 95.6 %!)
• I am constantly looking for ways to do my job better.
• The work I do is important.
• How satisfied are you with the Alternative Work Schedules (AWS) program in your agency?
• I like the kind of work I do.
• I know how my work relates to the agency’s goals and priorities.
• How would you rate the overall quality of work done by your work unit?
• I am held accountable for achieving results.
Take that, critics of the federal so-called uncreative, unaccountable slackers who hate their unimportant jobs.
Third, we still have issues with performance management. The following statements were agreed with by fewer than 40% of respondents:
• Awards in my work unit depend on how well employees perform their jobs.
• Creativity and innovation are rewarded.
• Promotions in my work unit are based on merit.
• In my work unit, differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way.
• In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve.
• Pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs. (This was below 20%, but what did you expect with freezes?)
What to do with this data?
If you are a leader, manager or supervisor, make sure people know that you recognize their efforts. Give them positive feedback when things go well, and feedback that helps when they don’t. Help others to differentiate between the things they or you can control and not control. And just to keep perspective in often-difficult circumstances, remember that the stresses, annoyances and hindrances are actually very small when compared to, say, living in the Philippines right now.