FEVS 101: What is the FEVS and Why Should You Care About It?

The United States Office of Personal Management (OPM) administers the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS). OPM defines the FEVS survey as a tool that measures employees’ perceptions of whether—and to what extent—conditions of success exist in their agencies. OPM first collected employee surveys of this kind in 2004, but the survey has changed significantly over the past several years.

Today, OPM collects and reports this survey data each year. The most recent survey, in 2017, consisted of 98 questions that covered topics such as demographics and analysis of various roles, as well as measures of employee engagement on a five-point scale. By grouping survey results into different dimensions, agencies can focus analysis on thematic concepts in the data and benchmark their agency against the rest of the federal government. The 2017 FEVS is grouped into eight dimensions, which include:

  • Personal Work Experience
  • Work Unit
  • Agency
  • Supervisor
  • Leadership
  • Satisfaction
  • Work/Life Programs
  • Demographics

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Making Sense of FEVS Results

Unfortunately, understanding the FEVS and the impact of the results is no easy feat for federal HR managers. Analyzing the FEVS data is a tedious and time-consuming task, especially among agencies with multiple locations. With no easy-to-read analysis or agency-specific outline provided with the results, HR managers are left wondering how to quickly uncover the information they need to make timely, informed decisions.

When an agency comprises of many different offices and types employees, it’s particularly difficult to understand each branch’s employee engagement and satisfaction performance. Using data visualization tools, HR managers can easily discover and interact with FEVS results and generate filtered reports that support informed decision-making.

At a minimum, agencies need to summarize the raw FEVS data to get a sense of overall employee satisfaction and try to link satisfaction to high performing measures in the survey. The goal is to answer two questions:

  1. What is our agency doing well with employees? (In other words, what is responsible for the employee satisfaction we have today?)
  2. What should our agency focus on improving next year? (In other words, what should we focus on to increase overall satisfaction?)

The First Steps with New FEVS Data

Many federal HR managers receive their FEVS results and find large tables of data to analyze. Don’t worry though. While there are many ways to boil this data, the first thing to do is focus on Question 69, “Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?”

This is the key question to analyze the average, spot trends overtime, and gauge how an office compares to other offices in the agency. Understanding FEVS data starts with a focus on this most important question.

Go Beyond Simple Averages to Uncover Hidden Improvement Opportunities

The EconSys FedHR Navigator and Workforce Analytics tools offer statistical analysis which:

  • Provide interactive data visualization and reporting
  • Deliver FEVS data in an intuitive, navigable format
  • Help HR professionals effectively assess the workforce

With data-mining, filtering, and data visualizations, the EconSys FEVS Survey Reporter can help HR managers to uncover more value from the FEVS to identify key drivers of employee satisfaction. The Survey Reporter helps agencies build on positive gains, locate and address opportunities and create plans of action that will increase employee satisfaction and engagement.

Schedule a call with us today to learn more about how EconSys and our HR solutions can help federal agencies gather more insights from the FEVS and improve employee engagement.