Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Identifies Drivers of Employee Engagement
Keeping Employees Engaged During Periods of Uncertainty
Allison Abbe, Government Executive
Federal employee engagement on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey shows signs of recovery since the 2013 sequestration, but the current external climate may make further improvements more challenging. Federal employees face several sources of uncertainty and change, including the recent hiring freeze, proposals to cut benefits and employment protections, and changes to mission and priorities under the Trump administration.
Employee engagement in these conditions is not just about making workers happy or providing them with incentives. Multiple theories and decades of research in psychology and other behavioral sciences have provided insight into what motivates people; from this work we can identify a core set of psychological needs that drive people. Employees aim to meet their core needs across different life domainsówork, home, hobbies, and education. Employees are already motivated; the challenge for government leaders is to harness that motivation and direct it toward organizational goals.