About

America deserves a federal government that is highly effective—meaning one that is efficient, innovative and responsive to the needs of its citizens. The Partnership for Public Service is committed to the idea that government works best when it has an engaged workforce, good leaders and the processes, structures and information to make smart decisions. We accomplish our mission by identifying opportunities to make government work better, offering solutions to fix government where it is broken and collaborating with people inside and outside government to bring about change.

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings, part of our effort to improve the federal workforce and the management of government, offer the most comprehensive assessment of how federal public servants view their jobs and workplaces. The rankings provide employee perspectives on leadership, pay, innovation, work–life balance and a range of other issues.

Most importantly, the rankings provide a way to measure the engagement of the federal workforce as a whole as well as at individual departments and agencies, and their subcomponents. The rankings alert federal leaders to signs of trouble and provide a roadmap to better manage our government’s most important asset—its employees.

The best private sector organizations understand that increased employee engagement leads to better performance and outcomes, and federal leaders need to follow suit by placing greater emphasis on strengthening the workforce and the workplace culture.

The 2018 Best Places to Work rankings include the views of more than 847,000 civil servants from 488 federal organizations on a wide range of workplace topics. The participants include 598,003 employees who completed the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and employees from 12 agencies who completed surveys with similar questions during a comparable time frame. These agencies include the Peace Corps, the Smithsonian Institution, the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, the rankings incorporate responses from employees at the nation’s intelligence agencies, which conducted a similar survey but did not report the number of respondents because it is classified.

Participating federal organizations are ranked according to overall employee engagement. The vast majority of those entities also are rated on 10 additional categories such as leadership, strategic management, innovation and work–life balance.

This website provides an overview of each department, agency and subcomponent included in the 2018 rankings 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, how they compare with other agencies and determine whether they have improved or regressed over time.

The Partnership for Public Service thanks Robert M. Tobias, director of key executive leadership programs at American University, for helping develop the Best Places to Work rankings, and OPM for its rigorous administration of this powerful employee survey.


About the Partnership

For 17 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective for the American people. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation.

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