Importance of meeting customer needs, agency mission earn high scores in 2023 FEVS

Even more trends from the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results have appeared in OPM’s deeper dive report, assessing the perspectives of federal empl...

Agencies fared generally well in the results of the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, with many of the broad indices that the Office of Personnel Management measures posting significant gains this year.

Now, even more trends have appeared in OPM’s deeper dive report of the 2023 FEVS results, which the agency published Friday.

The 2023 governmentwide management report on FEVS offers expanded, in-depth results and more analytical interpretations of the annual survey that assesses the views of federal employees.

This year, a few FEVS questions relating to customer needs and meeting mission tended to trend higher, OPM’s report showed.

Specifically, “it is important to me that my work contribute to the common good,” received 92% positive responses, and “employees in my work unit meet the needs of our customers” received 87% positive responses — two of the highest-scoring items in the entire survey for 2023.

Source: Office of Personnel Management, 2023 FEVS governmentwide management report.

OPM’s report also revealed, however, a few areas that leave room for improvement. Several questions relating to agency senior leadership resulted in relatively lower scores on the overall FEVS.

For instance, just 46% of FEVS respondents agreed that management involves employees in decisions affecting their work. And only half of respondents said they believed senior leaders generated high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce.

Source: Office of Personnel Management, 2023 FEVS governmentwide management report.

Still, more generally, federal employees’ views on top agency leadership did improve by two points in the survey since last year, increasing from 59% to 61%.

Supervisors’ scores from employees, on the other hand, have remained consistent for several years, with a higher rating of 80% from governmentwide employees.

The 2023 FEVS also received a 39% response rate, a 4% increase since the 2022 FEVS, with more than 625,000 respondents taking the survey this past spring.

The employee engagement index, a measure of federal employees’ views on leadership, meaningful work and opportunities for growth, increased from 71% to 72% this year — tying the government’s score from 2020.

“A one-point increase represents roughly 6,300 respondents sharing a more positive perspective in 2023, the equivalent of a medium-sized federal agency,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said in the Dec. 22 report.

Agency-specific results of FEVS also emerged in the new OPM report, which highlighted positive responses from a few key agencies.

The Department of Health and Human Services scored the highest of all “very large” agencies for indices measuring employee engagement, global satisfaction, performance confidence and employee experience, as well as diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA).

When it came to employee engagement, HHS received an index score of 78% from its employees.

Source: Office of Personnel Management, 2023 FEVS governmentwide management report.

Of all agencies with fewer than 100 employees, the Marine Mammal Commission topped the charts for many of the indices, and had the highest employee engagement results, scoring 98% on the index.

Another very small agency, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, earned “most improved” from OPM for its category, by increasing its employee engagement index score by 29 points in just one year.

In another part of the survey that measures how many federal employees are teleworking, it would be inaccurate to compare year-to-year trends due to the wording of the questions changing each year, OPM said.

But according to this year’s survey results, earlier in 2023, 14% of feds were teleworking every day, and close to a quarter were telework three or four days per week.

Source: Office of Personnel Management, 2023 FEVS governmentwide management report.

Notably, federal employees took the 2023 FEVS in the spring, prior to the Office of Management and Budget memo calling for more in-office work or any agencies publishing return-to-office plans this fall.

Overall, in an effort to further modernize FEVS, OPM plans for future versions of its management report to link to a data dashboard that displays the survey results. The relatively new FEVS dashboard, now available on OPM’s website, offers details of the results of the annual survey.

In terms of next steps, OPM said, “the overall strong results described in this report provide evidence of opportunities for agencies to build on the momentum established in 2023, continuing actions that drove improvements, as well as seeking new ways to sustain the positive direction established in 2023.”

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