Morale among federal employees working for the Department of Veterans Affairs is moving in a positive direction according to survey results just released by the agency.
The VA announced the results this week of the 2018 All Employee Survey (AES) issued in June to its workforce of more than 375,000 employees. 62% completed the survey, a response rate that VA said surpassed the national response rate goal of 60% for this voluntary workplace survey.
The survey indicated progress in a number of key areas: satisfaction with one’s job (+8.8 percent); satisfaction with VA (+11.1 percent); and willingness to recommend VA as a good place to work (+10.9 percent).
62% of VA employees said in the 2017 Federal Employee Viewpoint survey that they recommended their agency as a good place to work (rating this question as either “agree” or “strongly agree”).
Employees also reported seeing the results of employee surveys more often (+33.2 percent from 2014 to 2018), and employees reported improvements were being made based on survey results (+53.7 percent). Employees were also more likely to respond positively to items related to supervisor goal setting (+25.6 percent) and supervisor addressing employee concerns (+11.8 percent).
Agency employees listed the following areas as being the ones of greatest importance to them: having a civil and respectful work environment, having their concerns addressed by supervisors and having their talents used well in the workplace.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie called the results positive, saying he remains committed to improving employee engagement, a critical precursor for strong customer service, one of his key priorities.
“VA employees are talented and committed professionals who rally behind a great mission,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Veterans deserve a VA workforce that demonstrates pride in its work that results in strong customer service, and the survey shows we are making important progress in that direction.”
The VA also said that the morale improvement is directly correlated with employee retention and noted that VA employee turnover rates average 9% which is better than comparable private-sector rates in health care that average between 20-30%.
The VA noted, however, that while officials are happy to see the trend in the survey results, there are still areas for continued improvement.