It’s no secret: employee engagement among the American workforce has dipped in recent years.
Consider recent Gallup data. The workplace consulting and global research organization found the number of U.S. employees saying they were engaged in their jobs dropping from 36% in 2020 to 34% in 2021. According to Gallup, that marked the first annual decline in a decade.
That pattern continued into 2022, when Gallup found 32% of employees engaged, with 18% describing themselves as actively disengaged. Active disengagement increased by two percentage points from 2021, and four points from 2020, according to Gallup.
Statistics from the public sector might tell a slightly different story.
Each year, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducts its Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS). Tracking a number of federal workplace measures such as innovation, resilience and, yes, employee engagement, FEVS is one of the largest employee surveys in the country, and is the largest annual survey of government employees. The 2022 study garnered more than 550,000 responses, and saw OPM’s employee engagement index (EEI) holding steady at 71%, the same mark as 2021, which were two of the highest scores in the past decade, according to OPM.
The agency has released governmentwide results of its 2023 FEVS, and the findings are equally encouraging.
This year’s survey polled more than 625,000 federal employees from more than 80 executive agencies, and finds “an increasingly resilient and engaged federal workforce,” according to an OPM statement highlighting the findings.
Employee engagement scores, for example, reached a five-year high in 2023. The survey’s Employee Engagement Index score increased to 72% positive overall, with two factors improving. Employees’ perception of the integrity of leadership at their agency increased two percentage point, reaching 61%, while workers’ feelings of motivation and competency in the workplace went up one percentage point, climbing to 74%, according to OPM. The factor measuring trust, respect and support between employees and their supervisors at federal agencies remained at a high of 80% positive.
OPM’s Global Satisfaction Index scores employees’ overall satisfaction with the agency employing them. This year’s survey saw “noted increases” from several 2022 results, according to OPM: job satisfaction (68%), satisfaction with the organization (62%) and willingness to recommend their agency to others (67%).
The Performance Confidence Index, which measures employees’ belief that their work unit can achieve goals and produce at a high level, remained consistent, at a high of 84%, according to OPM. The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Index showed 71% of survey respondents reporting positive perceptions of their agency’s DEIA-related practices, representing a 2% increase from 2022.
OPM’s governmentwide management report is due to publish by 2023’s end, and will dig deeper into the survey’s results, offering agency-by-agency data, for example. In the meantime, OPM Director Kiran Ahuja says the preliminary findings should be cause for optimism across government.
“This year’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey highlights that federal employees remain remarkably resilient, increasingly engaged and value diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the workplace,” Ahuja said in a statement. “These encouraging results provide opportunities for agencies to build momentum and support their workforce to leverage workplace flexibilities, continue advancing DEIA and remain motivated to continue delivering for the American people.”
08 November 2023
HR News Article