National Aeronautics and Space Administration employees remained largely satisfied with their agency this year, likely continuing the agency’s trend of ranking among the best places to work in the federal government, according to results from a recent survey.

Seventy-one percent of NASA staffers who responded to the Office of Personnel Management’s federal-employee viewpoints survey gave the agency a positive mark this year when asked about their overall impression of the organization.

NASA in 2013 earned the highest composite score among all federal agencies for the second consecutive year. In this year’s survey, the organization showed improvements in 56 categories, while its numbers dropped slightly with 13 measures of worker satisfaction, according to a summary of the results.


NASA showed improvement with the vast majority of worker-morale measures in the federal government’s annual employee-satisfaction survey. (AP, NASA/Carla Thomas)

Among the areas with the most room for improvement, the agency scored relatively low on performance pay, career-advancement opportunities, and satisfaction with senior leadership.

More than two-thirds of respondents indicated that pay raises are not based on performance, and about 58 percent said the agency does not effectively deal with workers who do a poor job. About 51 percent of the employees said they are not satisfied with opportunities for advancement, and 22 percent said they do not have a high level of respect for senior leaders.

However, NASA staffers expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for their work, with 97 percent of respondents saying they are willing to put in extra effort to complete a job and more than 88 percent saying they view their work as important.

Sixty-three percent of the employees said NASA rewards creativity and innovation, while nearly 78 percent said they feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things.

Among six programs designed to improve work-life balance, more than two-thirds of respondents said they are satisfied with each of them. Nearly 95 percent gave positive marks to NASA’s “alternative work schedules,”and about 87 percent indicated they are happy with telework options.

Although NASA’s survey results are available online, no federal agencies have publicized their numbers yet. The Office of Personnel Management generally announces the results in November or December, and the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service uses them for its annual Best Places to Work in Federal Government rankings.