The annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings, produced by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group, measure employee engagement and satisfaction government-wide as well as at individual departments, agencies and subcomponents.

The rankings and accompanying data provide a means of holding federal leaders accountable for the health of their organizations, shining the spotlight on agencies that are successfully engaging employees as well as on those that are falling short.  

The data provides leaders with a roadmap to better manage our government’s most important asset—its employees. Best-in-class private sector organizations understand that increased employee engagement and satisfaction lead to better performance and outcomes, and federal leaders need to follow suit by placing greater emphasis on improving the workforce and the workplace culture. 

The federal government-wide Best Places to Work employee engagement and satisfaction score for 2021 is 64.5 out of 100, a 4.5-point decrease from 2020.  

This significant downturn in employee engagement and satisfaction occurred as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt the federal workforce as tens of thousands of civil servants faced uncertainty about returning to the office after more than a year and a half working remotely part or full-time, while a sizable portion of the workforce remained on the frontlines performing critical public services as the health crisis persisted. 

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Profiles in Improvement

We talked to a subset of agencies that improved their scores or ranking in selected categories in order to identify best practices, new ideas and strategies for success. Although these agencies represent a small fraction of those that improved, others can apply these successes to create a better employee experience.