Posts Tagged employee satisfaction

The Largest Workforce on the Planet

Business People Silhouettes With North American Flag Speech BubbDoesn’t it seem odd that when industry, Wall Street, and academia consider and explore human capital strategy and best practices, United States government workforce practices are usually not cited as a standard to emulate? It’s even more peculiar when you  consider that our federal government is the world’s largest workforce with three million individuals on the payroll, providing services and products on a scale parallel to some of the most valuable publicly traded companies in the world.

The results of the 2014 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) point to several opportunities and challenges in the government workforce. For example:

  1. Only 62 percent of federal workforce respondents indicated they would recommend their organization as a good place to work—down from 69 percent in 2011.
  2. Just 38 percent of respondents believe survey results will be used to make the agency a better place to work. This trend has steadily dropped from 45 to 38 percent over the past four survey cycles (2011-2014).
  3. A mere 38 percent of the respondents believe that senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment in the workforce.
  4. From an information sharing and recognition perspective, only 46 percent of the respondents are satisfied with information provided by management and just 45 percent are satisfied with the recognition that is received for doing a good job.
  5. Overall, only 50 percent of the respondents have a high level of respect for their senior leaders.

Although these trends are not necessarily unique from a human capital strategy perspective, it makes you wonder what it will take to help the world’s largest workforce begin to move the needle on human capital management. The good news is that an increase in taxes is not necessary. Instead, the manner in which strategy is designed and deployed needs to be developed across agencies in order to:

  • effectively support teams of employees from the front lines —give them a voice;
  • reduce overlap and leverage buying power; and
  • utilize experts who can accelerate the development of practice and policy by drawing from practical and proven experience.

My last post argued that there is not a difference between private and public sector leadership capabilities and corresponding organization outcomes. In the context of developing and leading the world’s largest workforce, there is much to be gained by an open and thoughtful exchange between private and public sector human capital strategy executives. In my next post, I’ll begin to explore those strategies.

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Moving the Employee Engagement Needle

Engage Button On Computer Pc Keyboard KeyEngaged workers use three less sick days each year than their disengaged counterparts.  In a workforce the size of the federal government, this difference translates to a loss of nearly 19,000 work years annually. That’s one of the startling statistics Paul Wilson, VP of Federal Solutions at The Ken Blanchard Companies, shared at a recent government executive briefing looking at moving the engagement needle.  Pointing to the results of recent Federal Employee Viewpoint Surveys, Wilson identified that an effective employee engagement framework is critical now more than ever.

Part of that framework involves identifying the work factors and understanding the evaluation process workers use in deciding whether a particular work environment is deserving of effort above and beyond basic job requirements.  It is a state of mind that Wilson describes as employee work passion which goes beyond satisfaction, or even engagement at work.

Wilson was joined at the briefing by Dr. Drea Zigarmi, a founding associate and Director of Research at The Ken Blanchard Companies.  Zigarmi shared details on Blanchard’s research into employee work passion including the 12 environmental factors that—when perceived to be present to a high degree in the work environment—result in employees who intend to

  • Perform at a higher level
  • Put in extra effort as needed
  • Act as good corporate citizens
  • Stay with the organization longer
  • Recommend the organization to others

Zigarmi shared how an assessment of employees’ perceptions allows leaders to focus in on the issues that translate into intentions and behaviors moving in the right direction.

At the operational level, managers can begin to think about the four Job Factors and start to explore the degree to which their direct reports feel their needs are being met in each area. Once identified, managers can look at ways to set up the conditions that are more favorable for each factor.

At a strategic level, senior executives can begin looking at ways to shape the organization’s systems, policies, and procedures to address the four Organizational Factors. The scores on the four Relationship Factors will allow leaders at all levels to understand how to improve the connections between people in the organization. The goal is to create a pull-type organization and a workplace environment that invites people to choose to be their best.

With a solid grounding in the latest behavioral science research, the Blanchard approach offers leaders a way to thoroughly understand what is happening in the work environment and how to improve it. By taking a more in-depth look at employee perceptions, their own leader behaviors, and the subsequent impact on intentions and performance, leaders now have a tool that allows them to move the needle and bring out the best in their people.

To learn more about the Blanchard approach and the 12 work environment factors measured, download a four-page overview, The Employee Work Passion Assessment: Moving Beyond Satisfaction.  You can also check out other free Blanchard resources and white papers at the research section of their website.

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My Agency is the BEST!

The Best Places to Work results were posted today and topping the charts is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Following the NRC, in the 2nd and 3rd best place to work in the federal government, is the Government Accountability Office and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Employee satisfaction increased in 68% of federal organizations.

The survey, conducted by the Partnership for Public Service and American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation (ISPPI), was sent to over 263,000 civil servants to determine employee satisfaction and commitment across 290 federal agencies.   The agencies are scored in a number of categories including training and development, effective leadership, teamwork, and strategic management.

An analysis of the results showed that, for the fifth time in a row, leadership was the main reason why many of the agencies’ overall scores greatly improved.  The results from the leadership category reflect how much importance employees place on having effective leadership throughout the agency. 

How can agencies improve an individual’s commitment and performance within an organization?  A whitepaper on employee passion published by The Ken Blanchard Companies includes eight factors that reflect on what employees need to create a positive emotional state of mind.

So how is your agency improving passion in the workplace?

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