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However, federal employers seemed to be responding well by supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of workers, providing the necessary resources, finding new ways to provide public services, and effectively communicating with workers, the report shows.
The nationwide employee engagement score was 69 out of 100, lower than the 77 employee engagement score in the private sector. Private sector data came from employee research firm Mercer and included more than 8 million survey responses from 2016 to 2020 from a variety of companies.
Only 22 of the 71 government agencies outperformed the private sector, including NASA, the Government Accountability Office and the Peace Corps.
In other categories, federal agencies outperformed the private sector. While 84.1 percent of federal employees said their colleagues cooperate to get their jobs done, only 78 percent said so in the private sector. And 67 percent of federal employees were happy with their pay, compared to 54 percent in the private sector.
For the ninth time in a row, NASA has secured the top spot for “Best Places to Work” in the category of large agencies. This was followed by the Intelligence Community, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Commerce.
The Government Accountability Office was ranked top among medium-sized agencies in 2020 and the Congressional Budget Office was the best small agency in 2020. The Office of Inspector General ranked first among agencies’ sub-components.
Other agencies fell back in the rankings this year. For example, HHS – an agency under stress in 2020 – dropped from second place in 2019 to fourth place in 2020. Two other agencies at the forefront of the Covid pandemic, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had mixed employee experiences in 2020. NIH maintained a consistent ranking of 81.7 for Best Places to Work at 100, and ranked 63rd out of 411 for agency subcomponents. The CDC scored 72.4 points, falling from 81 in 2019 to 192 in 2020.
Most of the data come from the annual employee survey of the Office for Personnel Management, which took place on 14.09. until 05.11.2020 was carried out on senior executives. Additional survey data was collected from 12 agencies and responses from US intelligence officials. This is the 15th annual report, but due to changes to the federal employee survey 2020 and the organization’s methodology, the data for 2020 is not fully comparable with previous years.