Quote of the week
“…all the negativity associated with federal employment and public service right now is particularly disheartening.”
— Tom Fox
The vice president for leadership and innovation at the Partnership for Public Service in the U.S. is fussing about the results of a survey that was done of federal public service morale.
The main message? That a two-year pay freeze, what employees believe is ongoing “fed bashing” by Congress, and incompetent managers are having a negative impact on public sector workplace well-being.
1, 694 respondents took this online survey, which used a scale from 1-10, with one being extremely low and 10 being extremely high. Regarding federal managers, just 12 percent rated their morale at an 8 or higher; 43 percent rated their morale at a 3 or lower.
Federal employees felt much the same way. Eleven percent rated their morale at an 8-10, while 44 percent indicated their morale at a 1-3.
The study also looked at how well managers are motivating employees, and the results were not encouraging for those who believe that motivated employees improve productivity: only 10 percent of employees gave managers a score between 8-10, while 56 percent of respondents gave managers a score from 1-3.
The results are troubling yet, one hopes, instructive for public servants waiting for anticipated cutbacks here in Canada.
For one thing, it says to managers that there is still much work to be done in communicating change. Sure, it’s difficult to provide hard information in the absence of concrete data, but it remains an important task to let people know what you know about the process in an open and transparent manner.
You have to wonder what a public servant survey done in Ottawa – a town now beset with budget uncertainty and a sense that the government is hardly sympathetic to public sector workers – would find about the state of morale in the public service today.