Survey: Views often rosier from the top in federal workforce

November 13, 2013
Federal employees protesting the government shutdown last month in Detroit. (Steve Perez/AP).
Federal employees protesting the government shutdown last month in Detroit. (Steve Perez/AP).

The federal government’s Employee Viewpoint Survey shows a significant disconnect between top- and lower-level workers when it comes to their outlooks on leadership and team dynamics.

The survey results, released last week, show that positive views often increase with rank. For example, only 28.2 percent of non-supervisor employees in the federal workforce said differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way, compared to 51.3 percent of managers and 62.2 percent of executives.

MORE: Federal workers’ job satisfaction drops

The views from the top were significantly rosier than those among lower-level employees across the board in two survey categories dealing with leadership and team dynamics. Below are a few more examples we pulled from the results:

Promotions are based on merit

Non-supervisor 27.3 percent

Managers 57.6 percent

Executives 71.6

Awards depend on how well employees perform their jobs

Non-supervisor 34.3 percent

Managers 58.1 percent

Executives 68.1 percent

The people I work with cooperate and get the job done

Non-supervisor 71.3 percent

Managers 80.6 percent

Executives 86.8 percent

The skill level in my unit has improved in the past year

Non-supervisor 49.8 percent

Managers 65.7 percent

Executives 71.1 percent

Leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment

Non-supervisor 38.8 percent

Managers 55.1 percent

Executives 69.4 percent

Managers communicate goals and priorities of the organization

Non-supervisor 59.6 percent

Managers 72.8 percent

Executives 80.9 percent

Managers support collaboration across units to accomplish objectives

Non-supervisor 53.6 percent

Managers 71 percent

Executives 79 percent

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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Josh Hicks | November 13, 2013