12/13/12: Today, the Partnership for Public Service (“PPS”), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to revitalizing the federal government by transforming the way government works, released its annual “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings for 2012. The Union today posted internal SEC office rankings to assist employees in understanding how each office measures up in comparison to others across the country. Review the rankings below.
The PPS calls the Best Places to Work rankings the most comprehensive and authoritative rating and analysis of federal employee satisfaction and commitment. The rankings are based on the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (“FEVS”), which SEC employees complete every year. The Best Places Rankings are available here.
As expected, the SEC’s ranking – 19th out of 22 agencies in the “mid-size” agency category – continues to reflect significant challenges for our organization. Last year, the SEC was ranked 27th out of 33 agencies in the “large” agency category. OPM created the “mid-size” category this year. The SEC’s scores in all categories have not moved significantly since the 2011 FEVS, and the agency's overall "Best Places to Work" score actually dropped.
Notwithstanding the SEC’s poor ranking, there is good news. SEC employees continue to believe strongly in our mission, they work hard and collaboratively, they have confidence in their fellow employees, and they generally hold positive views of their direct supervisors. Also on a positive note, SEC employees continue to approve of the various work-life programs the Union has negotiated with SEC management. This is an important finding, because one of the key staff concerns found during a recent agency-wide Compensation Study conducted by Towers Watson was how important work-life balance is for retaining and recruiting employees at the SEC. The EVS provides further clear guidance to management and Union representatives concerning the extent to which SEC employees continue to value these programs.
Despite these positives, however, the PPS rankings once again reinforce the view long held by NTEU that the SEC continues to face significant human capital challenges. SEC employees continue to express a lack of satisfaction in areas such as employee recognition, growth and advancement opportunities and management support for the agency’s work-life programs. The lack of autonomy and involvement in decisions that impact their work is also a key driver of a generally low level of employee engagement. And far too many SEC employees also expressed dissatisfaction with the policies and practices of the agency’s senior leaders.
The PPS "Best Places to Work" rankings have considerable value because they allow us to compare the SEC externally to other federal agencies. But the Union believes that it is equally important to understand and compare the views of employees internally in individual SEC divisions and offices. For the SEC actually to succeed in improving employee morale and see that improvement actually reflected in future FEVS results, we believe that it is necessary to first identify organizationally where we are doing well and where we are doing poorly. Simply put, accomplishing institutional change will require transparency and accountability.
To accomplish these important goals, the Union has created a set of six internal SEC indices that we believe will constitute a highly useful tool for identifying success stories as well as opportunities for improvement across the SEC – and we have ranked all of the agency subparts (offices and divisions) based on their scores in each of these six indices.
The indices – Employee Engagement, Employee Recognition, Employee Satisfaction, Leadership, Growth and Advancement, and Work/Life Balance – are all based upon the 2012 EVS results. Each index is comprised of EVS questions that solicit feedback in the particular category. (Please note that we have not replicated the PPS methodology here; we developed these indices to track key aspects of employee satisfaction here at the SEC).
Please click on the links below to see how your office ranked in each of these six indices, and also its overall ranking:
Overall FEVS SEC Office Rankings (Average of All Six Indices)
Employee Engagement Index SEC Office Rankings
“Employee Engagement”: Employees in their work through a management culture that fosters staff inclusion, creativity and independence
Employee Recognition Index SEC Office Rankings
“Employee Recognition”: Expanding employee recognition beyond traditional methods (merit pay, cash and time off awards) through an inclusive and transparent program which includes individual and group awards and opportunities that promote employee morale, teamwork, cohesion and commitment to the Agency’s mission
Leadership Index SEC Office Rankings
“Leadership”: Ensuring that the conditions that characterize successful organizations are present at the SEC
Growth and Advancement Index SEC Office Rankings
“Growth and Advancement”: Establishing opportunities for employees to continuously add skills, autonomy and career progression
Work/Life Balance Index SEC Office Rankings
“Work-Life Balance”: Supporting and promoting programs designed to assist employees in achieving a healthy and productive balance between work and personal life
The Questions that Comprise Each Index May Be Reviewed Here
Please Click Here to Review the Individual OPM Reports for Each Office at the SEC