Federal workers largely unsatisfied with performance rewards and promotions

Most federal workers don’t believe their agencies will reward or promote them for performance, according to a new analysis from a good-government advocacy group.

The Partnership for Public Service on Wednesday reported that only 43 percent of federal employees think their employers will provide performance awards or better job opportunities, based on findings from the Office of Personnel Management’s 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

(John Moore/Getty Images) (John Moore/Getty Images)

The partnership’s annual “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report, which relies on results from the yearly employee-satisfaction survey, has listed performance-based rewards and advancement among its lowest-rated categories since 2005. The 2012 score dropped 2.5 points compared to the previous year.

On a more positive note, 67 percent of federal employees said they believe their performance appraisals were fair. But just 34 percent said they are satisfied with opportunities for career advancement, and only 36 percent said creativity and innovation are rewarded.

By comparison, private-sector employees rated their opportunities for advancement 14 points higher, according to the partnership.

Federal workers on the lower end of the pay scale were less satisfied with performance-based awards than their higher-paid colleagues, according to the partnership’s analysis.

The group recommended that government agencies should do more to acknowledge good work, provide opportunities for career advancement and give employees greater responsibilities or new experiences.

“With limited ability to increase compensation or to provide other monetary rewards, managers must rethink how they define rewards and recognition,” the partnership concluded in its analysis.

For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, friend his Facebook page or e-mail josh.hicks@washpost.comE-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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Josh Hicks · June 20, 2013

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