Don't miss your chance to tell your boss what you really think

Tuesday - 6/10/2014, 11:52am EDT

The deadline for filling out the annual Employee Viewpoint Survey is rapidly approaching. Employees selected to participate in the survey — gauging worker morale and views of agency management — have until Friday to complete the survey.

As of Tuesday morning, about 330,000 employees have completed the online survey, OPM officials said in a press call with reporters. Another 80,000 or so are still in the process of completing the survey.

That's slightly less than the number of surveys completed during the final week of the survey period last year, which was extended by a week.

There are no plans to extend the survey period this year, and OPM is making a big push to get responses in.

"For the survey to be successful, as many employees as possible must take the survey," OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said. "We've made it clear to the managers that they must encourage and make it possible for the employees to take time out of their busy day to fill out the survey."

At smaller agencies, such as OPM, the survey is provided to all employees. At larger agencies, sampling is used to capture a representative slice of the agency's workforce.

Last year, the overall governmentwide response rate was 48 percent.

"We're hoping that we can do better than that," Archuleta added.

As part of those efforts, OPM has posted a video to YouTube explaining the importance of the survey in helping agency managers improve their operations.

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In recent years, the survey has revealed declining federal-employee morale. In 2013, overall employee satisfaction fell for the second year in a row, dragged down by a sharp drop in employees' satisfaction with their pay.

While governmentwide results for 2014 won't be published until late fall, agencies will start receiving targeted reports from OPM in August.

"At the request of the agencies, we've pushed that timeline up by about a month," Archuleta said. "The managers were very anxious to get this data as quickly as possible."

In addition to broad agency snapshots, managers are also able to drill down into office-specific results. All told, the survey data is broken down into more than 12,000 individual agency components, which supervisors can use "to find out exactly what their employees are thinking," she added.

Also new this year, is an employee-engagement dashboard, which President Barack Obama introduced in his fiscal 2015 budget request.

The new tool will combine data from the survey as well as agency performance data.

The dashboard is "on target" to be deployed to agencies by the end of the month, said Jonathan Foley, director of OPM's Office of Planning and Policy Analysis.

It will include at least three years of survey data on engagement and satisfaction. When 2014 EVS data is "available to be folded into that dashboard, we will do that automatically," he said. "So managers will be able to see that data at that point in visual form."

OPM has also worked closely with managers to allow them to customize the dashboard with their own data.

"They're able now to load up the data from their own agencies," Archuleta said. "So they're going to get not only the broad picture but the very specific picture about each of their agencies as they load up their dashboard."

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