The Office of Personnel Management’s Human Capital Survey for 2006 has been out six months. More than 220,000 feds responded to the survey, and the report is full of fascinating conclusions that all federal employees—at whatever level—should review. (You can download a print version at www.fhcs2006.opm.gov/Published/.)
OPM’s analysis paints a picture of workers who are uniformly content with the nature of their jobs and their roles in their respective agencies’ missions. Respondents also award consistently high marks to their colleagues’ dedication, energy, and team spirit.
But these warm fuzzies tend to fall off somewhat when the questions turn to agency leadership and senior managers’ real-world interaction with the rank-and-file. Consider these survey items, for instance:
o I have a high level of respect for my organization’s senior leaders.
o How satisfied are you with the recognition you receive for doing a good job?
o How satisfied are you with the information you receive from management on what’s going on in your organization?
o How satisfied are you with the policies and practices of your senior leaders?
o How satisfied are you with your opportunity to get a better job in your organization?
All these questions received ratings under 50% government-wide, with the last item hitting a low point of 36% (a stunning revelation given the responses in other satisfaction and morale areas). OPM classes these among the survey’s “impact’ items, the real “stay or go” determinants.
Is it naive to assert that inadequate top-down communication plays a big role in the problem? We want to hear what you think. Email us with your interpretation at firstname.lastname@example.org . We won’t use respondent’s names when we discuss what you tell us.