hear it from fma

Engagement and Management’s Role in the Best Places to Work

The Partnership for Public Service recently unveiled the latest “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.” This annual list examines the results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and how satisfied large, mid-size, and small agencies are with employee engagement, commitment, and leadership.

Out of a hundred point system, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration came in first place for large agencies for the fourth year in a row with 76.1 points. In mid-size agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation came in first with 81.1points, and in small agencies, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service led the way with 87.1 points. Satisfaction among federal employees rose 1.2 points from last year, with an overall average score of 58.1. While this might not initially seem impressive, especially as the private sector rates at 76.1, it needs to be noted this is the first time job satisfaction within the federal government rose in four years. There are many causes for the four years of declining scores, including the three year pay freeze, sequestration furloughs, the October 2013 shutdown, and unfair scapegoating for the country’s problems. The Partnership for Public Service viewed the 1.2 point increase as a sign that the federal workforce is starting to rebound from these hard times.

The Federal Managers Association (FMA) has long seen the value of promoting employee engagement in order to support the federal workforce and create a best place to work that meets the needs of the American people. By creating a workforce that is fully engaged, productivity will improve, employee satisfaction will rise, and the federal government will be more effective. As federal agencies continue to work with limited budgets with increased demands, it is imperative that managers and supervisors are fully engaged with their employees in order to ensure morale is positive and congressionally-mandated missions and goals are met.

One issue that has a long-lasting effect on employee engagement is the lack of investment in supervisory training for managers. Training is critical, particularly for new managers, on subjects such as mentorship, career development, improving productivity, aligning personal goals to the agency’s mission, and managing poor performance. These are all issues that directly affect employee engagement. Regrettably, supervisory training is often one of the first items to be cut when budgets are tight. FMA has been working with legislators on bipartisan legislation that would require that new managers receive training in core areas no later than one year after taking the supervisory position.  

Further, at its annual National Convention and Management Training Seminar, March 15, 2016, FMA will focus on what managers throughout the federal government can do to develop and engage the workforce. The event will be open to all managers and supervisors throughout the federal government, not just FMA members. Speakers and attendees will discuss issues currently facing the federal workforce, including: best hiring practices; the critical need for communication between managers and employees; how to best empower a younger generation of federal employees; and, how to use big data to better understand employee satisfaction and engagement. By having an open dialogue with agency leaders, federal managers will be better equipped to handle barriers and create a highly functioning federal government. We hope you will join us.


By The Federal Managers Association

Celebrating its 100th year, the Federal Managers Association (FMA) is proud of its long tradition of Advocating Excellence in Public Service. For more information on how FMA works to protect your interests and to join our team, please visit www.fedmanagers.org.

Posted in Hear it from FMA

Tags: Partnership for Public Service, federal managers

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