Field offices lag behind headquarters in employee satisfaction, says OPM


Federal employees in field offices are a little less happy with the operations of their organization than those in its headquarters, says the Office of Personnel Management.

According to its annual survey of federal employees, field office employees have less of a positive view of their organization's senior leadership than their headquarter counterparts, with fewer positive responses (agree or strongly agree) about respect levels and the leaders' support of a work/life balance, 51.8 percent compared to 58.1 percent, respectively, for each question.

While both groups answered positively about whether they do important work—91.7 percent for those in a field office and 90.5 percent for headquarter employees—those in field offices are 5.9 percentage points less likely so say they were encouraged to try new things and 5.2 percetange points less likely to say they had the proper resources to get their job done.

No group is happy with its ability to recruit people with the right skills: only 47 percent of those in a headquarters had a positive response and that dropped to 41.5 percent for those in field offices. Neither headquarter nor field office workers felt their promotions were based on merit (36.6 percent  and 32.4 percent were positive answers, respectively) and less than a third of each group feels their organization takes steps to deal with poor performers.

Just under a quarter of headquarters workers are agree that pay raises depend on job performance, and that drops to just 19.9 percent for those in the field.

When looking at a race group comparison from the survey, employees who are of two or more races typically report the least satisfaction with their jobs. They report roughly 7 percentage points fewer positive responses (satisfied and very satisfied) compared to the government average for questions concerning satisfaction of involvement in organizational decisions, ability to demonstrate leadership skills, on the job recognition, policies of senior leaders, their ability to move up in the organization, training levels, pay and overall job and organization satisfaction.

American Indian and Alaskan Native employees have the least amount of confidence in their supervisors, with only 56.1 percent giving a positive response, compared to a government average of 65.8 percent. They also are 10 percentage points below the 68.4 percent government average when reviewing the overall performance of their immediate supervisors.

For more:
visit the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey site

Related Articles:
Federal worker morale drops, says OPM
Private sector workers more satisfied than federal employees, finds OPM
Federal agencies lag in encouraging innovation