Best Places to Work in the Federal Government: Double Bronze!

This morning I was very pleased to speak at the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" awards breakfast – an event sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service and American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation to honor agencies that have distinguished themselves by excelling at employee engagement and satisfaction. And, I'm happy to report that OMB placed third – tied with CBO.
The Best Places rankings, released today, provide a comprehensive assessment of employee satisfaction and commitment across federal agencies. Using data from the Office of Personnel Management 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey, the Best Places survey ranks 260 agencies, large and small, and agency sub-components on a 100-point scale using ten elements that help to capture employee satisfaction and engagement. Roughly 212,000 federal employees participated in the survey (about 10% of the total federal workforce). The Best Places website provides, the rankings plus agency profiles that include demographics and variations in employee responses broken out by demographic groups. Historical data and new data analysis tools are also provided, allowing users of the site to analyze trends and track performance against benchmarks. (For the curious, the government-wide Best Places index score is 63.3 – up 2.4% since the last survey in 2007.)
This survey is an excellent resource that deserves more than just a day in the spotlight, and for those agencies scoring high on the Best Places list, a spot on the agency recruiting page – it offers useful metrics that should be incorporated into how we manage government. Max Stier of the Partnership for Public service noted this morning that the Best Places to Work list offers agencies an incentive to improve, a roadmap for where to target efforts, transparency for jobseekers and the public, and an oversight metric for agency managers and for Congress. I agree wholeheartedly, and expect to incorporate this benchmark data into the 2011 budget process.
This is not only important for good management; it's also critical for the future of government. As the baby boom retires, the federal government will have to fill several hundred thousand positions in the next four years. To draw the best and the brightest people into federal service, we should follow the lead of the highest-ranking agencies to make careers in government service more rewarding, enriching, and attractive to talented people.
The themes highlighted in this morning's breakfast were particularly relevant to me today as I spent the afternoon testifying before the House Subcommittee on Financial Services, Committee on Appropriations on OMB's FY 2010 budget submission. My testimony can be found here. In addition to discussion of our own budget request, you'll see in my testimony a focus on how OMB plans to make the government work better via such tools as increased transparency, data-driven policy, and workforce transformation.

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