For our government to be effective and serve the needs of the American people, federal agencies must be able to attract, retain and develop the best employees. And to do this, the government must compete with leading private-sector companies for top talent.
From the employee perspective the government continues to lag behind the private sector and the gap is growing.
The government-wide index score fell 5 percent, from 64 (out of 100) in 2011 to 60.8 this year. The 3.2-point drop is the largest change in the history of the rankings. Meanwhile, employee satisfaction in the private sector remained constant, with a score of 70.0, according to analysis by Hay Group. As the chart below shows, when it comes to workers' satisfaction with their jobs and organizations, federal agencies have lagged behind the private sector for the four years we have studied the trend.
In addition to the index score, comparative data between the public and private sectors also are available for 13 questions that are in the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
The table below compares positive responses from federal government employees against a cohort of private-sector workers at large companies involved in a range of jobs. The private sector outperforms the government in each of the 13 questions, 10 of them by more than five points.
As the table below shows, there is a 17-point difference between the government and the private sector on the question, “How satisfied are you with the information you receive from management on what’s going on in your organization?” When asked whether they felt happy with their opportunities to move forward in their organization, federal employees trail their counterparts in the private sector by 14 points.
In 2012, scores for the federal government went down on questions on which the private sector went up. Most notable were questions asking whether employees’ work gave them a feeling of personal accomplishment and whether, considering everything, they were satisfied with their job. Since 2011, the gaps between the government and the private sector increased by four points on each question.
Clearly more has to be done to close these gaps if government is to attract and retain the highly skilled workforce it needs to meet the critical challenges facing the country.
|1||I am given a real opportunity to improve my skills in my organization.||63||65||-2|
|5||I like the kind of work I do.||84||86||-2|
|4||My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment.||72||77||-5|
|63||How satisfied are you with your involvement in decisions that affect your work?||52||58||-6|
|69||Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?||68||74||-6|
|2||I have enough information to do my job well.||72||79||-7|
|52||Overall, how good a job do you feel is being done by your immediate supervisor/team leader?||68||76||-8|
|20||The people I work with cooperate to get the job done.||73||82||-9|
|65||How satisfied are you with the recognition you receive for doing a good job?||48||57||-9|
|68||How satisfied are you with the training you receive for your present job?||54||63||-9|
|71||Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?||59||70||-11|
|67||How satisfied are you with your opportunity to get a better job in your organization?||36||50||-14|
|64||How satisfied are you with the information you receive from management on what's going on in your organization?||48||65||-17|
|Data source: Hay Group and OPM, 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey|