2018 Best Places to Work Rankings

by | Dec 13, 2018

Last Updated January 10, 2023

The “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings are out, and the Office of Personnel Management reported a slight upswing in government employee engagement—68% in 2018. However, satisfaction fell to 59%.

Partnership for Public Service released the annual Best Places to Work rankings. Overall, about 40% of agencies and subcomponents saw a rise in employee engagement this year. For the past 3 years, more than 70% of federal organizations made improvements so the rankings are quite different this year.

“This year’s rankings tell the tale of 2 governments,” Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service said. “One of part of our government has agencies with committed leaders who are fostering high and improving levels of employee engagement. The other part of our government is handicapped by a lack of leadership that has led to static or declining employee engagement.”

By the Numbers

According to the Partnership’s best places to work rankings, there were some notable drops in employee satisfaction:

  • The Agriculture Department score dropped 6.9%
  • Education Department’s score fell more than 12%
  • Engagement at the State Department fell 3.3%
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau saw satisfaction fall by more than 25%
  • Just 38% of employees rated the Environmental Protection Agency as favorable this year, a 7% drop over last year

These drops partly could be because USDA announced changes to its telework program requiring all employees to work form the office at least 4 days a week. And the Department of Education suddenly ended collective bargaining negotiations with the American Federation of Government Employees.

Employee satisfaction dropped tremendously at the Federal Labor Relations Authority (31%) and the National Labor Relations Board (12.6%). The Merit Systems Protection Board, which lacks a quorum, had employee satisfaction fall 4.3%.

The Department of Veterans Affairs chose not to participate in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey this year and instead, administered its own survey. Their survey included some of the same questions included in FEVS, so the department could continue to be a part of the Partnership’s rankings. Their engagement score was 64.2 for 2018, compared to 56.1 last year. The agency was not eligible to compete for the “most improved” agency and didn’t include its data in the calculation of the 2018 government-wide score. If it had, VA would likely earn the “most improved” agency title this year.

Here are the top 10 Large, Mid-Size, and Small agency rankings:

Large Agencies

  1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  2. Department of Health and Human Services
  3. Department of Commerce
  4. Department of Transportation
  5. Intelligence Community
  6. Department of Veterans Affairs
  7. Office of the Secretary of Defense
  8. Department of the Nave
  9. Department of the Interior
  10. Department of Justice

Mid-Size Agencies

  1. Federal Trade Commission
  2. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  3. Securities and Exchange Commission
  4. Government Accountability Office
  5. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  6. Peace Corps
  7. Smithsonian Institution
  8. National Science Foundation
  9. Architect of the Capitol
  10. General Services Administration

Small Agencies

  1. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
  2. S. International Trade Commission
  3. Congressional Budget Office
  4. Farm Credit Administration
  5. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
  6. National Transportation Safety Board
  7. Office of Management and Budget
  8. National Endowment of the Humanities
  9. Federal Maritime Commission
  10. Overseas Private Investment Corporation

For a full list and summary, click here.

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