Survey of Federal Workers’ Sense of Appreciation Shows Mixed Results: Graduate School USA Survey Does Show Bright Spots

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In a recent poll conducted by Graduate School USA, 68 percent of respondents felt Congress did not appreciate their work and 52 percent said that the American people didn’t. This is on the heels of the Employee Viewpoint Survey, conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which indicated an overall drop in federal employee job satisfaction and morale.

In a recent poll conducted by Graduate School USA, 68 percent of respondents felt Congress did not appreciate their work and 52 percent said that the American people didn’t. This is on the heels of the Employee Viewpoint Survey, conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which indicated an overall drop in federal employee job satisfaction and morale.

In the OPM survey, close to 90 percent of employees said the work they do is important but clearly that is lost on some of the most important audiences. Happily, the respondents in the Graduate School USA survey did find appreciation within their organization – 93 percent from their team and co-workers and 74 percent from the leadership in their agency. In addition, 59 percent felt appreciated by President Obama.

“I feel so valued within my agency…from the quality of work I do to the accolades and awards I’ve received,” said Yvette Johnson, Department of Defense Washington Headquarters Services. “But I do still believe there is a negative perception of federal workers among the public and that’s disheartening.”

This information provides a challenge to leaders who are attempting to strengthen their agencies with top talent and retain the workforce they have. And it’s a challenge for the administration that put a strong focus on making government work “cool again”.

“In order to maintain a strong federal workforce, it’s imperative to understand what these surveys tell us,” said Dr. Jerry Ice, CEO and President, Graduate School USA. “There is an on-going need for leadership training, with an expanded focus on effective communications. The survey indicates a direct correlation between a clearly articulated mission and positive team dynamics. If your mission isn’t clearly stated, it’s hard to know if you’re meeting it.”

This online survey was conducted by Graduate School USA and surveyed over 450 federal employees.

About Graduate School USA
Dedicated to providing relevant learning opportunities in public service, Graduate School USA has served the DC metro community since 1921. An independent, nonprofit accredited educational institution, the School is dedicated to academic excellence and lifelong learning. Services include individual assessments, career-related courses, certificate and degree programs, continuing education, and distance learning. More information can be found at graduateschool.edu/learnmore.

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Jim Huske
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