Federal Employee Satisfaction with Jobs, Pay on the Decline

According to a record number of responses to the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, federal employees feel the work they do is important but the pay freeze has started to have an impact on morale.

OPM released the results of the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey this week. According to results from a record number of respondents (687,687), general trends indicate that federal employees feel the work they do is important, but tight agency budgets and the pay freeze are starting to have an impact on morale.

Job satisfaction was down two percentage points from 2011 (66% from 68%). Leadership and knowledge management, results-oriented performance culture, and talent management were areas which showed a slight decline from 2011 results as well.

Satisfaction with pay weighed the most on survey scores as only 59% of respondents reported pay satisfaction, the lowest score since 2004.

According to the survey write up, “These results suggest that the continued tight budgets, salary freezes and general public opinion of Federal service are beginning to take a toll on even the most committed employees. However, findings still indicate that Federal employees remain hardworking, motivated and mission-focused.”

However, 80% of employees surveyed like the work they do and 90% or more said the work they do is important.

As to supervisors, roughly three out of four employees indicated that their supervisor treats them with respect, has talked to them about their performance, supports their need to balance work and life, and listens to what they have to say.

Two out of three employees said that:

  • Their supervisor is doing a good job overall,
  • They have trust and confidence in their supervisor,
  • Their supervisor provides opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills,
  • Their supervisor is committed to the workforce, and
  • Their supervisor supports employee development.

The full report offers additional response details and results broken down by agency.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.