OPM to extend viewpoint survey to all feds

Tuesday - 1/24/2012, 3:14pm EST

The Office of Personnel Management is opening its annual survey to all federal employees this year, instead of just about a third who normally are given the questions.

That means 1.8 million feds will be able to have their say on how their agencies are run.

In a memo to agency leaders, OPM Director John Berry said the open invitation would not be standard practice.

"While a governmentwide census will not be conducted every year, having large numbers of respondents will allow agencies the opportunity to analyze results and develop action plans at lower levels in the organization this year," he said.

In past years, the agency has canvassed up to a third of federal workers.

The Employee Viewpoint Survey covers morale; work relations, including how well supervisors are managing employees; and flexible work policies, such as telework. Agencies can use the survey results to compare themselves to others. The non-profit Partnership for Public Service also uses the data to publish its list of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

The 2011 survey showed federal employees were surprisingly upbeat despite calls for pay freezes, program cuts and reduced benefits.

With budget cuts and a presidential election, 2012 promises to be similar.

"This year more than ever, the information provided by the FEVS comes directly from many thousands of employees and provides feedback essential for leadership which helps to drive the continuous improvement process," Berry said.

The survey will take place in April. In the memo, Berry said OPM already was coordinating with agencies on distributing it. OPM announces the results usually in the fall.

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