The Federal Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), formerly the Federal Human Capital Survey, focuses on employee perceptions regarding critical areas of their work life, areas which drive employee satisfaction, commitment, and ultimately retention in the workforce. This is the 6th time OPM has administered the survey, which was first conducted in 2002, then again in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011.
For more information about OPM and the FEVS, visit www.fedview.opm.gov.
The findings from the survey offer an indication of employees’ perceptions of USGS’ management. A USGS Best Places to Work Council has been established to serve as a focal point for developing bureau level actions to address issues identified in the FEVS.
On odd years (2011, 2013, 2015, etc.) the FEVS is distributed to a sample of government employees. Eight hundred and thirty-two USGS employees responded to the 2011 FEVS. Seventy-seven items asked in the 2011 FEVS were categorized as positive, neutral, or negative. For 66.2 percent of these items, the USGS employees reported a greater percentage of positive responses than the government at large. For 84.4 percent of the questions, USGS had more positive responses than the Department of Interior.
Strengths: Ninety-eight percent of employees responded positively when asked if they are willing to put in the extra effort to get a job done. Ninety percent are looking for ways to do their job better; 89 percent believe the work they do is important; 88 percent positively rate the quality of work done by work unit; and 87 percent believe they are held accountable for achieving results. For 36.4 percent of the questions, the 2011 FEVS positive results were greater than the 2010 FEVS positive results. For more than half of the questions (57.1%), the 2011 FEVS results had lower percentages of negative responses than in 2010. In other words, people are feeling less negative in 2011 than in 2010 for more than half of the questions asked.
Challenges: Close to half of the employees (43%) do not feel they have sufficient resources to get their jobs done; 37 percent do not feel steps are taken to deal with poor performers who cannot or will not improve (decrease from the 39.8% in 2010); 35% do not believe pay raises depend on how well employees do their jobs; 34% are not confident that their work units are able to recruit people with the right skills; and 32% responded negatively to the statement “In my organization, leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce.” Nearly half (43%) of the 2011 items had higher negative responses than in 2010; and 64% of the items saw a decrease in positive responses from 2010 to 2011.
Trends: Seven items showed a five percent or greater change from 2010 to 2011. Employees feel seven percent more positive about the organization’s preparedness for potential security threats; and are five percent more satisfied with child care programs and elder care programs. However, employees are feeling six percent more pessimistic about their resources; and five percent more negative about feelings of personal accomplishment, pay satisfaction, and pay raises being dependent on job performance. As the 2011 FEVS was given to a sample of employees, the raw data was not released and thus the analysis is unable to comment about statistical significance of these changes.