Employee engagement is one of the primary metrics for federal HR programs – especially as recent research has shown just how much of an impact it can have on productivity and performance levels. But what does engagement entail and why it is consistently so low, especially for government employees?
The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), administered every year by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to nearly half a million federal employees, is a mark of pride for many agencies. Those who perform well on an annual basis proudly share their insights and best practices with other agencies to showcase what works and what does not in building a high overall satisfaction score among employees.
Despite collecting data from more than 450,000 federal employees in 2017, the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) is limited by the level of reporting available for that data.
The FEVS is administered each year by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and made available on their website in a limited, aggregated form. To glean anything meaningful from this data requires custom requests at a more granular level, and there are limits to what one can extract without additional effort or software. This can have an impact on the actions taken to respond to FEVS data.
The annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) has many useful metrics for federal agencies to monitor. And, since it is a government-wide assessment, it enables apples-to-apples comparisons between agencies. Agencies can also compare their scores to previous iterations of the FEVS survey, tracking changes across time. While analyzing your FEVS scores in this manner is a good start, agency leaders should be more strategic with their employee engagement plans. Instead of focusing on whether a metric fluctuates up or down, leaders should be looking to understand the underlying insights. Every federal agency has a specific set of issues that affect their human capital—behind each score there is a story, and leaders should focus on understanding those stories.