Employee satisfaction dips at several agencies

Several agencies fared significantly worse in the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey than in 2011 — and they are taking it seriously.

While most agencies experienced little change from last year, the annual study administered by the Office of Personnel Management showed a dip in employee satisfaction ratings governmentwide. Agencies with the most significant declines include the National Archives and Records Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Social Security Administration.

“We were disappointed and saddened to see the scores,” Miriam Kleiman, a NARA spokeswoman, told Government Executive. “We know morale is a problem and are redoubling our efforts to improve our scores and, more importantly, our employees’ sense of satisfaction with their work and the agency as a whole.”

NARA, already one of the lowest-rated agencies in 2011, consistently scored around 4 percentage points lower in 2012 in categories such as job satisfaction, talent management, and leadership and knowledge management.

Kleiman explained that NARA is in the midst of a major restructuring, noting the changes will take time to take effect. David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States, said for some the overhaul “is a breath of fresh air, and for other people it’s an issue of dealing with change.”

NARA officials said they plan to learn from this year’s assessments. “The National Archives implemented many changes after last year’s survey results, but this year’s results show we need to do much more,” Kleiman said.

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