President George W. Bush, at the beginning of his Administration, made it a priority to improve the strategic management of people within the Federal government. Since 2002, on a bi-annual basis, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has undertaken the Federal Human Capital Survey to gauge the impressions of our civil servants, and seek out those areas where agencies are doing well, and where improvement is needed. The 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey continues this tradition, providing valuable insight into the challenges agencies face in maintaining an effective civilian workforce.
In 2008, more than 210,000 Federal employees expressed their views on a wide range of issues. This report provides comparison data across the last three surveys - 2004, 2006, and 2008. Generally, in a majority of the issue areas for which employees were surveyed, past improvements have been sustained. Federal employees continue to believe their work is important, are satisfied with their job, and have trust and confidence in their supervisors.
In many measurable areas, we have experienced moderate increases over both 2006 and 2004. We have even seen slight increases in some areas which experienced a decrease between 2004 and 2006. This is especially true with respect to having sufficient materials to accomplish tasks; manager's effectively communicating priorities and goals; and no toleration for arbitrary action, favoritism, and political coercion.
Although progress has been achieved and sustained in many areas, the survey tells us improvement is needed in others. OPM will make it a priority to work with agencies, especially through Chief Human Capital Officers, to address issues where employees feel appropriate levels of attention are lacking.
Overall, the Federal Human Capital Survey continues to demonstrate Federal employees are motivated and committed to the roles they play and the missions they accomplish. New generations seeking to serve the public in the Federal government can look upon this survey and know a career in the Federal civil service will be the right choice.
On behalf of President Bush, I thank those of you who participated in this important survey and encourage you to keep working hard for our customer - the American people.
Michael W. Hager
U.S. Office of Personnel Management 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20415 | (202) 606-1800 | TTY (202) 606-2532