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How can we measure changes in Federal employees’ experiences and perceptions over time?

Project Summary

The People Lab supported the design and implementation of the first-ever Federal pulse survey initiative. This initiative was led by the President’s Management Council, with the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) of the General Services Administration. We assisted with developing three rounds of very short (three or four question) surveys. These quick “pulse checks” were then sent to over two million Federal employees over six months in 2021-2022. The findings can help inform the Administration’s efforts to strengthen and empower the Federal workforce.

Why is this issue important?

As outlined in the President’s Management Agenda Learning Agenda, one of the current Administration’s priorities is strengthening and empowering the Federal workforce to ensure that it can best serve the American people. Building a diverse, strong, and high-performing workforce requires understanding current barriers to employee engagement, retention, inclusion, and wellbeing. One way to do this is by regularly surveying the Federal workforce to help agency leaders hear directly from their employees.

What are we doing?

We supported the design and implementation of three rounds of government-wide pulse surveys from October 2021 to March 2022. In each round, over two million Federal workers were sent a three or four question online survey to assess their perceptions of one of three topics: (1) the ongoing re-entry process to in-person work; (2) engagement and burnout; or (3) inclusion and equity.

Additionally, each of the three pulse survey rounds included an embedded survey experiment. The first tested the impact of the email sender; the second and third both tested variations in question language. 

What have we learned?

Government-wide and agency-specific survey responses to the three pulse survey rounds are available in a public-facing dashboard.

What comes next?

More detailed analysis of survey results are forthcoming. Results of the embedded survey experiment are available on the OES website.

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