How to make your agency a better place to work

How can federal agencies improve employee satisfaction and commitment? Are there any secrets to success?

These questions should be top of mind for agency leaders and managers as they begin to receive extensive data from the 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, a government-wide survey conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that provides critical information regarding how employees feel about their jobs, leaders and other aspects of the workplace.

These data enable agency leadership to better understand where their organizations are thriving and where improvement is needed. It's a great starting point for coming up with plans to respond to employee concerns and any negative trends -- an imperative during normal times and particularly important in the current climate of pay freezes, furloughs, hiring slowdowns and budget cuts.

Each year, Deloitte and my organization, the Partnership for Public Service, use the employee survey data to produce the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" rankings, which add perspective by providing a comprehensive portrait of employee satisfaction and commitment across the government and at individual agencies and their subcomponents.