The Partnership for Public Service released the 2016 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings that show a 1.3-point rise in federal employee engagement compared to 2015, for a score of 59.4 out of 100.
This builds on last year's 1.2-point increase, but still leaves the government well short of its all-time best score of 65.0 in 2010 and lagging far behind the private sector when it comes to how employees view their jobs and workplaces.
The Best Places to Work rankings is produced by the Partnership and Deloitte.
It found that while there have been modest gains in employee engagement during the past two years, there remains an urgent need for additional progress, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for the incoming Trump administration.
"Best in class private-sector organizations understand that improved employee engagement leads to better performance and improved outcomes" said Max Stier, Partnership president and CEO. "People are our government's greatest asset, and the new administration should commit itself to strengthening the federal workforce and improving the workplace culture."
According to Sirota, a survey research organization, the 2016 employee engagement score for private sector employees is 77.1 out of 100, representing a 17.7-point gap with the federal government. However, 12 federal agencies scored above the private sector average this year.
The Best Places to Work rankings include 379 federal agencies and their subcomponents: 18 large federal agencies, 27 midsize agencies, 29 small agencies and 305 subcomponents. Organizations are rated within one of four groupings: large agency (15,000 or more employees), midsize agency (1,000-14,999 employees), small agency (100-999 employees) and agency subcomponent (subagency, bureau, division, center or office). Rankings and scores for all agencies and subcomponents, from first to worst, are available at bestplacestowork.org.
The Partnership and Deloitte today will honor the five top-ranked Best Places to Work agencies, as well as the most improved agencies and subcomponents, in each of the four groupings.
The top five large federal agencies:
1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2. Department of Commerce
3. Intelligence Community
4. Department of State
5. Department of Health and Human Services
The top five midsize federal agencies:
1. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
2. Peace Corps (tie)
2. Government Accountability Office (tie)
4. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
5. Federal Trade Commission
The top five small federal agencies:
1. National Endowment for the Arts
2. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
3. Office of Management and Budget
4. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
5. Federal Labor Relations Authority
The top five agency subcomponents:
1. Office of the Inspector General (Tennessee Valley Authority)
2. Environment and Natural Resources Division (Department of Justice)
3. Office of Financial Management (Securities and Exchange Commission)
4. Office of Energy Market Regulation (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)
5. U.S. Army Audit Agency (Department of the Army)
In addition to overall federal employee engagement, the rankings measure employee attitudes regarding 10 workplace categories, including effective leadership, innovation, work-life balance, pay and support for diversity.