In a departure from last year, the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) will be open this year to ALL eligible employees. This is an opportunity I encourage you to take.
The annual survey, which last year was limited to a random number of federal employees, is your chance to directly, frankly and honestly share your thoughts and perspectives on your workplace.
FEVS is being rolled out to employees in two waves between May and mid-June. Agencies have a six-week administration period for their employees. The survey is voluntary and anonymous.
Additionally, some employees will be asked to participate in a pilot survey testing changes to some of the survey items and definitions and adding new topics. The pilot responses will be used to consider changes to the survey in the future.
By answering the survey, you can weigh in on staffing shortages, lack of resources, compensation, management and leadership issues, and any challenges and frustrations you face in trying to get your job done.
Why should you take the survey when past results don’t often seem to drive change? The short answer is that the results are often read and acted upon by Congress, particularly by legislators serving on oversight committees, and are reported in the press. But there are other considerations:
- The survey is open to all employees. So if you and other frontline employees choose not to take it, the results skew toward the managers’ answers.
- There are occasions when the survey results show something alarming and lead to congressional hearings.
- The annual Best Places to Work in Government rankings are released later this year. These are based on FEVS data and covered closely by the media, which often focuses on low agency rankings.
The data is useful to NTEU, as well. It supports arguments we make in Congress for additional funding, it supports positions we take at the bargaining table, and it provides real data we can use in discussions with management.
The survey is administered by the Office of Personnel Management and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Your supervisor should provide you with duty time to take the survey.
Thank you for taking the time to assess your workplace through FEVS, and thank you for the work you do every day.