Was Your Agency Among the “Best Places to Work” in 2022?

These federal agencies were rated among the best places for federal employees to work in government in 2022.

This article has been updated to reflect the publication of the full set of rankings.

The Partnership for Public Service has released its rankings of the 2022 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®.

NASA has once again topped the list for large federal agencies. It has held that spot for 11 years in a row.

The top 10 for large, midsize and small federal agencies are listed below. The full rankings are available at bestplacestowork.org.

2022 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® Rankings

Large Federal Agencies

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Intelligence Community
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Defense Agencies, and Department of Defense Field Activities
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of the Air Force

Midsize Federal Agencies

  • Government Accountability Office
  • National Science Foundation
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • General Services Administration
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Small Business Administration
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Department of Energy
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Federal Communications Commission

Small Federal Agencies

  • Congressional Budget Office
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
  • Office of Special Counsel
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Federal Labor Relations Authority
  • Farm Credit Administration
  • U.S. International Trade Commission
  • Surface Transportation Board
  • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
  • Selective Service System

The Department of Agriculture is the most improved large agency with a 1-point increase over its 2021 score. It moved up two spots, from a ranking of 14 in 2021 to 12 in 2022.

The Small Business Administration made the largest improvement among midsize agencies over last year with a 5.9-point increase and a 10-spot jump from 16 to 6.

Among small agencies, the Federal Election Commission is the most improved, increasing its score by 4.8 points.

Rankings Are a “Clear Warning Signal”

The overall engagement and satisfaction score in the 2022 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings is 63.4 out of 100. This is a 1.1-point decrease from the 2021 rankings in how federal employees view their agencies and jobs. Additionally, there was 4.5 point drop in 2021 over 2020, so the two year declining trend indicates what Partnership for Public Service president and CEO Max Stein called a “clear warning signal” for government leaders.

He stated:

While the Biden administration has prioritized investing in its workforce, from recruitment practices to pay increases, this year’s rankings point to a troubling two-year decline in employee engagement, a clear warning signal that leaders across government need to urgently and proactively address. Having a highly motivated and engaged workforce is critical to a well-functioning government and the success of our country, particularly given the civil service’s role in implementing recently passed major programs and policies. At a time when public trust in government remains low, our Best Places to Work data helps equip leaders with ways to better manage their employees, leading to better service delivery and greater trust.

Another area of concern highlighted by the Partnership for Public Service in the rankings was the “mission match” scores from federal employees under age 30. These employees reported the lowest score (64.9) in the category that measures how well employees feel their agency and job description meshes with their career goals and aspirations and creates self- motivation. It is important for both recruitment and retention efforts for new federal employees to be committed to not only the mission of their agencies but also to the work required to serve the public.

How Are the Rankings Determined?

The Partnership for Public Service uses a formula that bases the rankings on these questions from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. The survey and its results are administered by the Office of Personnel Management.

  • I recommend my organization as a good place to work. (Q. 43) 
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job? (Q. 68) 
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization? (Q. 70)

The questions are weighted based on the extent to which they factor into increased employee retention; more positive influence over employee retention means higher weighting in the rankings.

For reference, these are the responses to the questions from the 2022 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey broken down by agency size. The percentages are the total positive responses.

Government WideVery SmallSmallMediumLargeVery Large
I recommend my organization as a good place to work. (Q. 43) 65%71%71%70%68%64%
Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job? (Q. 68) 66%70%72%73%68%66%
Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization? (Q. 70)60%68%68%68%63%59%

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.