The 2013 Best Places to Work data present a disturbing picture of federal employees throughout the government who are increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs and workplaces. Government-wide, the federal employee job satisfaction and commitment level dropped for the third year in a row, tumbling 3 points to a score of 57.8 on a scale of 100. This represents the lowest overall Best Places to Work score since the rankings were first launched in 2003, and follows a 3.2-point drop in 2012 and a 1-point decline in 2011. In contrast, private-sector employee satisfaction improved by 0.7 points in 2013 to a score of 70.7, according to Hay Group.
Government-wide, the 2013 Best Places to Work data show a decline in all of the 10 separate workplace categories that the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte examined. The biggest decrease involved the satisfaction of federal employees with their pay, which fell 4.7 points in 2013 and contributed to a decline of 12.7 points since 2010. The second-biggest change involved decreased satisfaction with training and development opportunities, which fell 3.2 points, followed by rewards and advancement, which dropped by 2.2 points.
The lower government-wide satisfaction score and the decreases in all 10 workplace issues came during a difficult time for federal employees, who have faced a three-year pay freeze, furloughs, hiring slowdowns and across-the-board budget reductions. The Office of Personnel Management survey that is the basis of the Best Places to Work analysis was taken months before the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, and therefore does not reflect employee views of that event.
Among individual federal organizations, 75.4 percent saw their overall employee satisfaction and commitment ratings decrease in 2013, compared with 66 percent in 2012. More specifically, 89.5 percent of large agencies, 59.1 percent of mid-size agencies, 48.3 percent of small agencies and 78.7 percent of subcomponents experienced a decrease in employee satisfaction with their jobs and workplaces in 2013.
Agencies At The Top
The number one large agency in 2013 is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which registered a job satisfaction and commitment score of 74 out of 100. The space agency was followed by the Department of Commerce, with a score of 67.6, and the Intelligence Community, which tallied a rating of 67.3. In the mid-size rankings, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation took top honors, with a score of 82.3, followed by the Smithsonian Institution, with a score of 77.2. The top-ranked small agency is the Surface Transportation Board at 84.7, followed closely by the National Endowment for the Humanities at 84.6.
Agencies with more than 15,000 employees are classified as large, those with 1,000 to 14,999 employees are classified as mid-size, and any agency of 100 to 999 employees is considered small.
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