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FCW : October 30, 2012
October 30, 2012 FCW.COM 13 Commentary | SAMPRITI GANGULI SAMPRITI GANGULI is managing director of the Corporate Executive Board's government practice. Government executives will soon be receiving their agencies results from the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint (FedView) Survey. Those results will not only inform agencies 2013 priorities, but will also serve as the basis for the much-anticipated 2012 index of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government. An agency s placement on this ranking can have a big impact on employee engagement and candi- date attraction. Strong or improving scores can bolster an agency s brand and reputation and serve as a badge of honor for all employees. Declin- ing scores can con rm employee suspicions of worsening conditions and encourage top talent to explore job opportunities elsewhere. The Partnership for Public Ser- vice derives the index from the answers to three FedView Survey questions that indicate employees satisfaction with their jobs, their organizations and their agencies advocacy. Although those questions are informative indicators, they are not very suggestive of what agencies can do to improve in those areas. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) used regression analysis of the 2011 FedView Survey results to uncover which workplace attributes have the greatest impact on agency rankings. We found that three char- acteristics had a disproportionate effect. 1. Recognizing work unit and agency successes. Perceptions of agency mission success and the quality of work completed by an individual s work unit had the strongest impact on employee satisfaction. Low scores on those questions do not necessarily mean that agencies are not meeting their goals, as there is a wide communication gap across government that can limit employee awareness of local or enterprise success. FedView results indicate that half of employees are not satis ed with the information they receive from management about activity within their organizations, while a third do not agree that managers evaluate the organization s progress toward meeting its goals. Managers and leaders must rec- ognize and share the successes of their teams and those taking place across the agency. Highlighting achievements can pay big dividends in employee morale. 2. Soliciting upward feedback. Employee involvement in the decisions that affect their work represents another top driver of agency rankings. Involving employees in decision-making does not mean catering to their every wish, but it does entail proactively asking for employees opinions and valuing their perspectives. Given that some staff are reluctant to share their thoughts, tapping into a direct report s insights might require proactive probing. Equally important is a manager s receptivity to employee feedback. In the FedView Survey, one in four employees did not agree that their managers listen to what they have to say. Although soliciting employee feedback can lengthen the decision- making process, the bene ts --- becoming aware of potential risks and increasing employee engage- ment --- can more than make up for the extra time spent. 3. Reinforcing workplace inclusion. A manager s ability to work well with employees of different backgrounds represents another top driver of employee satisfaction. Although agencies have traditionally focused diversity efforts on getting diverse talent through the door, CEB research shows that workplace inclusion actually has a greater impact on employee engagement and satisfaction than workforce diversity alone. By providing supervisors and hir- ing managers with simple work ow tools, agencies can improve work- place inclusion without incurring heavy costs. ■ Strong or improving scores can bolster an agency's brand and reputation and serve as a badge of honor for all employees. 3 keys to boosting employee satisfaction The Corporate Executive Board pinpointed areas that have the biggest impact on an agency's rank in the Best Places to Work index
October 15, 2012
November 15, 2012