According to the recently published 2017 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) results, the SEC has continued its impressive upward progress in the FEVS rankings. This progress over the past few years is directly attributable to a large scale, multi-year, joint labor-management initiative at the agency specifically designed to improve the agency’s previously poor showing in the FEVS. Over the past several years, literally hundreds of managers and frontline staff union representatives have teamed up in each office and division at the SEC, collaborating together to improve employee satisfaction and engagement. Nevertheless, in a puzzling interview earlier this week with Federal News Radio which was specifically focused on the SEC’s FEVS initiatives, the agency’s Chief Human Capital Officer, Lacey Dingman, failed to mention that a massive joint labor-management FEVS improvement program ever occurred at the agency even though this program’s work was the sole focus of the interview.
Just five years ago, the SEC ranked second-to-last in employee engagement. This year, the SEC ranked third in employee engagement and first in global satisfaction. “The agency’s steady climb in FEVS scores is the direct result of the great collaborative work on improving the agency’s culture that has been done by teams of union representatives and managers across the country,” NTEU Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman noted this morning.
Several years ago, as the SEC was slipping further and further in the FEVS rankings, union representatives decided to make improving the FEVS scores a top priority at the agency. They began by annually publishing the FEVS results with respect to each SEC office and division, to increase transparency, identify places where things were working well, and focus a spotlight on places where improvement was needed. Ultimately, the union convinced management to collaborate on developing a tool to publish the FEVS results to everyone in the agency. This SEC FEVS database was created with input from both union and management representatives and features an interactive dashboard. It is now available for managers and staff alike and may be utilized to specifically identify problem areas and develop strategies for improvement.
In addition to increasing transparency regarding the FEVS results each year, the SEC’s national union leaders also collaborated with management to create dozens of labor-management teams in offices across the country. These teams were charged with reviewing their respective FEVS scores and developing strategies to improve them by making positive changes to the cultures in their particular offices and divisions. Furthermore, over the last two years, national representatives from the union and the Office of Human Resources traveled to every SEC office nationwide and conducted joint training workshops for these labor-management teams regarding how to increase their effectiveness through improved collaboration and communication.
The end results of all of these efforts by hundreds of frontline staff and managers have been impressive. The SEC’s FEVS scores have steadily risen and employee morale is increasing substantially. “The remarkable commitment and industrious efforts by all of these managers and frontline employees across the country, who worked together collaboratively to improve this agency, should be recognized and lauded by the SEC,” Greg Gilman said earlier today. “It is for that reason that we were perplexed to hear the interview of the SEC’s Chief Human Capital Officer about the SEC’s improving FEVS scores, because she failed even to recognize or mention this massive labor-management collaborative effort,” he added.
Gilman also voiced some concern over what the attempt to erase NTEU’s role in a years-long FEVS initiative means for the program’s future and the future of management’s relationship with SEC employees. “Notwithstanding widespread support for the FEVS program across the organization, Ms. Dingman has opposed those collaborative efforts at various times in the past,” he went on to say. “But in any event, she tolerated them, they have worked well, and the union certainly appreciates the efforts by these committed managers and frontline staff and will continue to support their work.”