About Best Places to Work

Designed to help a broad audience of government leaders, employees and job seekers, the 2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings drew on responses from more than 376,000 civil servants to produce a detailed view of employee satisfaction and commitment across 371 federal agencies and subcomponents.

Employee satisfaction and commitment are two necessary ingredients in developing high-performing organizations and attracting top talent. The Best Places to Work rankings are an important tool for ensuring that employee satisfaction is a top priority for government managers and leaders. The rankings provide a mechanism to hold agency leaders accountable for the health of their organizations; serve as an early warning sign for agencies in trouble; offer a roadmap for improvement; and give job seekers insights into how federal employees view their agencies.

The Partnership for Public Service uses data from the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to rank agencies and their subcomponents according to a Best Places to Work index score. Agencies and subcomponents are measured on overall employee satisfaction and scored on 10 workplace categories, such as effective leadership, employee skills–mission match, pay, teamwork and work–life balance.

The Best Places to Work rankings provide an overview of each agency and subcomponent, trend data and expert analysis of what the results mean. Users can conduct side-by-side comparisons of how agencies or their subcomponents rank in various categories, examine how they compare to other agencies and see whether they have improved or regressed over time.

Since the first rankings were released in 2003, they have helped create much-needed institutional incentives to focus on key workforce issues and have provided managers and leaders with a way to measure and improve employee satisfaction and commitment. Federal human capital professionals have reported that the Best Places to Work rankings have heightened awareness among senior leaders and spurred reform of workplace practices.

The rankings also address one of the biggest barriers to federal employment: a lack of cross-governmental information for prospective employees. The Best Places to Work rankings provide job seekers unprecedented insight into opportunities for public service by highlighting the federal government’s high-performing agencies and by promoting federal organizations that often go unheralded.

The Partnership for Public Service wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Robert M. Tobias, Director of Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University, for his contributions in the initiation of the Best Places to Work rankings, and OPM for its rigorous administration of this powerful employee survey.


About the Partnership

The Partnership for Public Service works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.

We believe that by strengthening the civil service, we help government work better to serve the needs of all 310 million Americans. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan, mission-driven organization, we bring unique characteristics to that effort, including third-party credibility, continuity, a strong ability to convene across sectors and a passion for change.

We ask important questions aimed at improving government. Is government recruiting the right people? Is it providing them with the tools to perform well? Is it preparing our leaders to lead? Does it encourage excellence and innovation? How does it measure and report its performance so the American public better understands what government does?

The Partnership doesn’t attempt to do government’s job. Instead, we partner with government and other stakeholders to understand problems and find solutions. We suggest strategies that help federal agencies attract and hire the brightest, most promising individuals. We facilitate public–private collaborations to help public servants develop, innovate and lead. We help government agencies to hold themselves accountable for progress, and we give them tools to improve when they fall short of their goals. We enhance public understanding of the valuable work civil servants perform every day.

For the past decade—through two presidential administrations and scores of leadership changes across federal agencies—the Partnership has helped government nurture its most important asset: its people.

Best Places to Work Brochure Cover

Best Places to Work Brochure

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Award Badge

If you represent an agency or subcomponent that participates in the Best Places to Work rankings, you can download our official Best Places to Work award badge for use on your website. Please link the award badge back to http://bestplacestowork.org so your site visitors can learn more about your organization and the rankings.

If you have questions about the use of the award badge, please contact us.

Best Places to Work award badge

Media Inquiries

If you are member of the media and would like more information about this program, please call the Partnership for Public Service at (202) 775-9111 and ask to speak to our Media Relations Director.