Feds say they are pleased with their jobs

Feds say they are pleased with their jobs

Survey finds worker satisfaction much higher at agencies where government reinvention is a priority

By Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

Efforts to reinvent government have made a difference, the findings of a new survey of federal employees suggest.

Workers are happiest when senior executives are committed to improving their agency, concluded the National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the Office of Personnel Management, which conducted the poll.

The survey of 13,000 federal employees from 48 agencies found that job satisfaction rates were much higher at agencies where reinvention was a priority'84 percent compared with 60 percent governmentwide.

The results show that employees are in favor of the principles of reinvention, NPR director Morley Winograd said. The concept has been misconstrued as being only about downsizing, but reinvention is much more about helping federal workers do their jobs better, he said.

Overall, 37 percent of feds who responded to the survey said reinvention was important at their agencies. In a survey last year, only 25 percent said their agencies took reinvention seriously [GCN, Jan. 11, 1999, Page 12].

The survey found that overall job satisfaction was comparable to that of private-sector employees'60 percent compared with 63 percent. But federal employees are more critical of their supervisors and are frustrated by a job system that fails to reward good work or punish poor work, the poll indicated.

The findings spurred the President's Management Council to propose a common definition of performance, OPM officials said.

The object of reinvention is to let employees work more efficiently. 'The way that happens for most workers is the red tape goes away,' Winograd said.

The survey shows that there is a solution to government's difficulties in retaining information technology workers, he said.

'We clearly have a challenge ahead of us to retain and recruit the IT skills that we need as we move in the world of electronic government,' he said. 'Create an exciting job for folks, and they'll stick around to do it.'

The survey found that 59 percent of employees believe they have the necessary electronic access to do their job.

The best-rated agencies for providing electronic access were the Census Bureau, the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and OPM.

The lowest-rated agencies were the Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

More details of the survey can be found at www.employeesurvey.gov.

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