A Slow Climb for Federal Employee Engagement and Improved Performance

A glimmer of hope.

That’s what I see in the recently published results of the OPM’s 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Overall, government-wide employee engagement scores rose 1% in 2015 — from 63% to 64%, with small agencies faring slightly better and making slightly more progress on employee engagement than large agencies. Furthermore, employees at large and small agencies were generally more satisfied with their leaders and supervisors this year, and leadership scores rose also.

While I see these scores as a hopeful sign, there is still obviously a long way to go. For example, the overall scores are still generally quite low. And leadership scores, while ticking up slightly, had fallen to a five-year low of 50% in 2014 — those scores are now at just 51%

Perhaps some of the best news I see is the interest and attention being paid to the entire area of employee engagement and leadership throughout the federal government. This is evidenced not only by the amount of press coverage this topic is receiving, but the interest we’re seeing from agencies here at Acendre. We have run a series of workshops in conjunction with the Partnership for Public Service over the past few months on performance management and employee engagement — and the attendance keeps growing. At these workshops and in individual meetings with various agencies, we’re putting together “personalized” blueprints for agencies to incorporate a new way of managing performance and improving employee engagement. The step-by-step approach we take with these agencies allows them to see incremental gains — small, yet achievable and significant — on their journey to a new way of improving performance throughout their agencies.

Ultimately, these agencies are looking to build a culture of high performance, and the workable blueprint sets them on that path.

A glimmer of hope beats another year of further declines, and we’re excited to be working with so many agencies as they look to boost employee engagement and their agencies’ leadership skills.

Let us know if your organization is ready for its own performance management and employee engagement blueprint.

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