Best Places to Work…even federal agencies get ranked

You’ve certainly seen Best Places to Work lists in business magazines like Fortune, and maybe in the niche publications that publish their own rankings for narrower constituencies. What you might not know is that Washington’s Partnership for Public Service regularly produces a similar government-wide ranking of federal departments and agencies (

It’s all based on what a couple hundred thousand government workers tell the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in its bi-annual survey. The Partnership, in concert with American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation (ISPPI) and The Hay Group–and with support from TMP Government–collates and submits OPM’s independently gathered results to strict statistical analysis. The outcome is a detailed side-by-side comparison of how federal organizations rate with their own employees across a range of criteria, from teamwork to training to perceived leadership competencies. The rankings also compare OPM’s employee responses—again agency by agency–by demographic segments, including gender, ethnicity, and age.

A benchmarking tool for agencies. If you’re looking for insight into your agency’s authentic employment value proposition, this compilation is a remarkable source, provided you’re willing to spend some time exploring its capabilities.

Both OPM’s own survey report ( and the Partnership/ISPPI rankings allow you to see how your agency measures up in the eyes of your own workforce. But the Partnership/ISPPI compilation makes it easy to compare your results directly with those of virtually every other government agency. What’s more, the Best Places comparisons provide you with a statistically sound benchmarking tool for improving or refining key attributes in your own workplace culture. It can help immeasurably in refining your programs for employee engagement, inclusion, organizational development, succession planning, retention, and a host of other human capital focal points.

And when it comes to recruiting, is there a more resonant and authentic jumping off point for your agency’s employment brand than the characteristics where your own workforce tells you that you excel?

A resource for job seekers. For the federal job seeker, these rankings are indispensable, cutting through the recruiting noise to core workplace characteristics. While this certainly should not be the only comparative tool a candidate uses, it does represent a marvelous starting point and useful set of job search benchmarks for federal candidates at all levels of experience.

So…which agencies are the leaders of the pack? I leave that to you to discover. If you’re serious about how your team’s collective view of your workplace stacks up against other agencies, go here:

Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy


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