You will not be shocked to hear that federal employee engagement at a most federal agencies has dropped this year, according to the new Best Places to Work ranking.
Certainly the decline is to be expected in an environment in which federal employees are under constant threat of a freeze in their pay, cuts in their retirement, government shutdowns, and suffering from persistent understaffing and a lack of resources.
The main reason, according to the Partnership for Public Service, is a lack of leadership but it is much worse. Many agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where employee engagement score dropped 25.2 points in one year, have been saddled with leadership that publicly questions the very mission of the agencies they now lead.
Federal employees chose a career of public service because they believe in what good, sensible government can do for the American people and even in this environment, they remain mission focused.
But when senior management questions their commitment, introduces barriers, or fails to provide clear direction it makes it that much harder to recruit and retain good employees and to maintain a workplace with high morale. NTEU hopes these low employee engagement scores are recognized as the alarm bells they are and that agency leadership and the administration begin rebuilding agencies and investing in frontline federal employees.