Job satisfaction down at nearly 60 percent of federal agencies

Job satisfaction is reportedly down at more than half of federal agencies this year, with many suffering from high-profile leadership turnover.

The 2018 “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings released Wednesday showed that job satisfaction fell at 59 percent of federal agencies and only 40 percent of agencies saw an increase in employee satisfaction, compared to more than 70 percent over each of the past three years.

The ranking survey is the 13th of its kind conducted by the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service in conjunction with Boston Consulting Group. The government-wide survey of Cabinet and intelligence agencies as well as their subcomponents surveyed 488 organizations from April through June.


“This year’s rankings tell the tale of two governments,” Max Stier, the president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, said in a statement. “One part of our government has agencies with committed leaders who are fostering high and improving levels of employee engagement. The other part of our government is handicapped by a lack of leadership that has led to static or declining employee engagement.”

When it comes to effective leadership at the government agencies, only 46 percent of respondents said their organizations showed improvement this year, compared to 76 percent in 2017.

“This leadership deficit should be of great concern to the White House, Congress and the American public,” Stier said. “It also should serve as a wake-up call for federal leaders across the government whose agencies have low or falling employee engagement scores.”

The report notes that the federal government trails the private sector in terms of employee satisfaction.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Agriculture, and the State and Education Departments saw the biggest drops in employee satisfaction.

The Education Department under Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosConsumer bureau head says Education Department blocking oversight of student loans Dem lawmaker: Betsy DeVos is 'a nice person, but boy she really is confused' Trump touts budget updates to fund Special Olympics, send astronauts to Mars MORE saw employee satisfaction drop by more than 12 percent.

The Agriculture Department’s score dropped by nearly 7 percent as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE’s ongoing trade war with China hurt domestic farmers and prompted the department to dole out billions in farm aid.

Trump’s tenure has seen an unusually high amount of turnover, with several top vacancies left unfilled.

NASA led the rankings on employee satisfaction for the seventh year in a row, followed by the Department of Health and Human Services, whose scored improved for the fourth straight year.