2018 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results

by | Nov 1, 2018

Last Updated January 3, 2023


The Office of Personnel management released its results of the government-wide 2018 FEVS. The survey provides a look at federal employee’s overall satisfaction with their jobs, pay, and agency management. Below are some of the highlights of the survey.


Overall, federal employees seem more satisfied with their pay when compared to previous years. One question asked, “Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your pay?” The response rate was generally positive at 63%. Last year it was 61% positive and in 2014, it was only 56% positive.

On the flip side, responses to the statement, “Pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs,” were some of the lowest positive responses regarding pay raises at only 26%.

Highest and Lowest Ratings

Some of the highest ratings in the survey were to questions/statements regarding overall job satisfaction:

  • “When needed, I am willing to put in the extra effort to get a job done.” (96% positive rating)
  • “I am constantly looking for ways to do my job better.” (91% positive rating)
  • “The work I do is important.” (90% positive)

Lower ratings were given around areas relating to management issues such as dealing with poor performers and merit-based promotions.

  • “Promotions in my work unit are based on merit.” (37% positive)
  • “In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve.” (32% positive)

Survey Highlights

The overall global satisfaction from the survey was 64%, the same as in 2017. The percentage score is an average of the job, pay, and organizational satisfaction ratings, as well as whether employees recommend their organization.

Only 41% of respondents believe the results of the FEVS will be used to make their agency a better place to work.

“Our employees continue to feel positive overall about their work experience and feel invested in doing a good job; 90% of our workforce believes the work they do is important. Unfortunately, our people also continue to feel that the Federal Government fails to fully align with Merit System Principles when measuring performance against rewards; only 26% of our people believe pay raises depend on positive performance. Although the 5-year trend for FEVS responses is moving in a positive direction, we cannot stop here and must continue to engage in dialogue with our workforce on how to enhance employee engagement. We have critical work to do in order to build a modern workforce designed to meet the needs of Americans in the 21st century,” acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert said in a statement.

Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service President and CEO said, “While there has been progress in employee engagement during the past few years, the government still lags well behind the private sector. All agencies, from the top performers to those doing poorly, need to focus on improving the management of our government’s most important asset—its employees. Thank you to OPM and the entire FEVS team for the vital work that goes into making the annual undertaking possible.”

Survey Response Rate

The overall response rate for the 2018 FEVS dropped considerably compared to past years. This was the lowest government-wide response rate in the last 5 years, at 40.6%.

Small (100-999 employees) and very small (<100 employees) agencies had the highest response rates among federal agencies. A total of 598,003 federal employees responded this year.

The Veteran’s Affairs Department didn’t participate in this years’ FEVS and instead conducted its own individual employee satisfaction survey, which likely led to the overall low response rate.

To view the complete summary of results, click here.

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